News / USA

    Polls: Republicans Blamed for Government Shutdown

    Polls: Republicans Blamed for Shutdowni
    X
    October 02, 2013 12:07 AM
    Public opinion polls suggest that congressional Republicans will get most of the political blame in the wake of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. But as VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports, the polls also show that Americans are growing tired of what they see as crippling political polarization and dysfunction coming from both major parties.
    Public opinion polls suggest that congressional Republicans will get most of the political blame in the wake of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.  The data also shows that Americans are growing tired of what they see as crippling political polarization and dysfunction coming from both major parties.
     
    As the government shutdown began to take effect in Washington, President Barack Obama said Republicans were responsible - because they will not give up their fight to undermine his signature health care law.
     
    “They have shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.  In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job,” said Obama.
     
    Republicans, of course, have a different view - including House Speaker John Boehner who says congressional Democrats should be willing to negotiate a way to reopen the government.
     
    “The only way these problems are going to be resolved is if we sit down amicably and keep the American people in mind and come to an agreement,” said Boehner.
     
    The political chaos in Washington over funding the federal government seems to be stirring the public, says Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown.
     
    “Americans don’t like shutting down the government.  Even Americans who don’t like Obamacare don’t like shutting down the government,” says Brown.
     
    Brown’s latest poll found that 72 percent of Americans oppose the government shutdown and a growing number put most of the blame on Republicans in Congress.
     
    “Politics is a zero-sum game.  If it’s good for one side, it’s bad for the other, and right now it’s bad for the Republicans and good for the Democrats,” says Brown.
     
    But Brown and other analysts see a deeper, more troubling impact of the political dysfunction in Washington.
     
    Americans seem to be losing faith in the ability of the political parties and the government to function, says analyst Charlie Cook.
     
    “They may end up blaming Republicans more than Democrats and more than the president.  But historically when you have these kinds of showdowns everybody looks bad,” says Cook.

    U.S. voters are already cynical.  And Peter Brown says a lengthy government shutdown would lead to even greater disillusion among the public.
     
    “The government can’t seem to get done what they think needs to get done. Whether they are for or against this program or that, they would like to see something positive come out of Washington.  And in their view they are not seeing it.”
     
    Brown adds that frustration will likely grow as the shutdown continues.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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    by: cheryl weaver from: california
    October 15, 2013 4:47 PM
    I watched CBS news today and here comes Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, moaning about they just wanted to talk, just wanted to be able to have a discussion, and nobody let them. Yeah, right.

    Cantor is so full of it - how many republicans did it take to script THAT reply for the American Public?

    by: Amanda from: Boulder
    October 13, 2013 8:54 PM
    Those big bunch of babies-Reps and Dems-can't even keep our
    country running! Get rid of lobbyists and big corporations that are
    having a say. Our country should be run by people, not big money
    or corporations. Put a cap on $ spent when running for office. Give us the facts-what they vote for or against, not a bunch of
    verbage. Tax the top 2 % at least 10% (no loop-holes). That should get us out of debt and educate our kids. Tired, very tired
    of the running of our country.


    by: Ansgar from: California
    October 13, 2013 4:11 PM
    It was the idea of the founding fathers that the best, brightest and most well educated would come together to represent the needs of the people in their communities and states. This would ensure that all voices were heard but it would be the most reasonable and intellectual few that actually governed this land. Instead what we have now is religious grandstanding and corporates sponsored puppets. When did ignorance become an attractive quality in a leader? We have people who think that women's reproductive systems can terminate a rape pregnancy, wind is a finite resource and that science like some bad 80s horror movie is the root of all evil. If we ever want our country back we need to collect the best and the brightest our people have to offer and put them in charge. Then we need to clear corporate America strait out of our politics.

    by: Bill Kruse from: Dunnellon Florida
    October 08, 2013 10:25 AM
    HOW DARE THEY!!!!!
    It is not the republican or the Democrats. It is "the Gov't's fault. Is Obama filling his own gas tank? Is Michelle Obama cooking her own meals? Are the politicians ( Republicans and Democrats) stopping there pay? Hell no. BUT they want to stop my SSI, that is not theirs, I paid into that account. HOW DARE THEY!
    All politicians are to blame, they are all lining their pockets and all are stealing from our SSI money. Replace the whole lot of them.

    by: manda from: iowa
    October 07, 2013 7:26 PM
    Well if Obamacare didn't get created this wouldn't have happened! Better yet if obama wasn't our damn president! This contry is just damn ridiculous lately. I am hoping and praying we make it to 2016! Who knows by then we may be living in a dictatorship. Congress needs to be wiped out and replaced! Damn government worried about dollars in their pockets and not enough about this country or its people! Fire them all!

    by: Albis from: phoenix,AZ
    October 06, 2013 2:57 PM
    The dictayor Obama and the democrats are to blame, ovbious is what it is.

    by: Diogenes from: NYC
    October 06, 2013 11:59 AM
    The only reason why they're blaming them is because it's their fault.

    by: Cannuk from: Canada
    October 05, 2013 11:59 AM
    It seems to me that the grand design of the USA government that has worked so well for over 200 years has broken down. Its designed to force compromise but that can only be accomplished by REASONABLE people that ultimately has the best interest of the country as paramount. This is obviously not the case anymore and it is really unfortunate that the most powerful democracy on the planet is now incapable to govern itself appropriately and continue to lead the world in the establishment of decent and responsive governments around the globe. It is indeed a sad day for all freedom loving people and sadly a good day for tyrants of all types.

    by: Risa from: Pennsylvania
    October 04, 2013 9:54 PM
    A large number of the Republicans who have used a government shutdown instead of a clean CR and separate discussion on the ACA receive a great deal more federal dollars than they send to the federal govt. If they really oppose forcing people to pay money for the ACA, why do they accept federal largesse ? If they have any integrity, true commitment to their own views, these districts will also pay for the 12.5 million an hour this shutdown is costing the US taxpayers (who are already supporting them).

    by: Leader from: Ohio
    October 04, 2013 3:54 PM
    The Republicans in the House represent millions of Americans. Those people will continue to support them. 2/3 of the government is Dems so they hold 2/3 the blame. The House is setup to better represent the people and to be closest to the peoples' will. The fact the Dems will not talk tells you who is to blame.
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