In a new poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, the majority of Americans blame the GOP for the federal closure, and in turn, the party's popularity is declining to a historically low level. It found 53 percent of respondents find the Republican Party at fault, and only 24 percent retain a favorable opinion of them. By eight percentage points and with only one year until midterm elections, Americans say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to one controlled by the GOP.
"And one year until next fall’s midterm elections, American voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled one by eight percentage points (47 percent to 39 percent), up from the Democrats’ three-point advantage last month (46 percent to 43 percent).
What’s more, Obama’s political standing has remained relatively stable since the shutdown, with his approval rating ticking up two points since last month, and with the Democratic Party’s favorability rating declining just three points (from 42 percent to 39 percent).
“If it were not so bad for the country, the results could almost make a Democrat smile,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
“These numbers lead to one inescapable conclusion: The Republicans are not tone deaf; they are stone deaf.”'
Perhaps most note-worthy is the "boomerang" effect mentioned in the poll results; As the GOP has used the shutdown and fiscal fight as a political campaign against the Affordable Care Act, and for "limited" (Ha. Ha.) government, those efforts have decidedly backfired.
- The health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began.
- More people now oppose totally eliminating funding for the law, even if it that means a partial shutdown of the government.
- More respondents believe the government should do more to solve problems.
- President Obama’s approval rating has gone up, with more Americans approving of his job performance -- meanwhile, both the Tea Party and the GOP have reached their lowest favorable numbers in the history of the poll.
- 46 percent of respondents say Obama, during this budget standoff, has been a strong leader and is standing up for what he believes in, with 51 percent who say they believe he’s putting his own political agenda ahead of what’s good for the country.
- A whopping 70 percent say congressional Republicans are putting politics first.
And the resulting effects on the hearts and minds of Americans by the Tea Party-GOP budget antics are damning; Only 14 percent believe the nation is headed in the right direction – a 16-point drop from last month. A low not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.
Also, just 17 percent think the U.S. economy will improve in the next 12 months, which is down 10 points from September.
63 percent now say the budget "negotiations" between Obama and congressional Republicans have made them less confident about the economy.
Gee...congratulations, John Boehner. What next? Mugging the elderly? Kicking children?