Poll: More voters would blame Democrats for government shutdown

Chris Moody Contributor
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Democrats banking on a government shutdown working out in their favor may want to tread carefully in their assumptions, a new poll suggests.

Nearly 30 percent of likely voters said in a new survey commissioned by The Hill newspaper they would hold Democrats responsible if the government shut down. Twenty-four percent said the GOP would be blamed.

That’s not to say that Republicans should rest easy, hold firm on their spending cut demands and let the government close shop: Forty-five percent of the likely voters polled said neither party would benefit.

Among independents, the gap is even wider. Thirty-four percent said they would blame Democrats while just 19 percent would find Republicans at fault.

The survey sharply contrasts with how prominent Democratic strategists view a shutdown. In a National Journal poll of Democratic political insiders, 56 percent they thought a shutdown was “in their party’s interest.”

Although a March 5 government shutdown appeared increasingly likely as early as last week, House Republicans drafted a measure for a short-term continuation of government spending with about $4 billion in cuts Friday, a proposal Senate Democrats said they could support. The spending bill will give the chambers two more weeks to negotiate a long-term “continuing resolution” (CR) to fund the government until the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

Facing pressure from Tea Party backed freshman members, House Republicans earlier this month passed their own CR with about $61 billion in cuts from current spending levels, which Senate Democratic leaders and President Obama have both said is a non-starter.

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