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Monday, September 23, 2013

Pew poll shows both sides would take blame for govt. shutdown, but is it accurate?

US capitol building on a stormy night
Pew Research: If the federal government shuts down because Republicans and the Obama administration fail to agree on a budget, there will be plenty of blame to go around. Public Divided Over Who Would be More to Blame if Gov’t Shuts DownAbout as many say they would blame the Republicans (39%) for such a standoff as say they would blame Obama (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.

This parallels the divided sentiment on the eve of the budget standoff in the spring of 2011, which was ultimately averted. But opinions are notably different today than they were during the budget battle of 1995. A November 1995 Washington Post/ABC News survey asked a similar question and found that 46% said a shutdown would mainly be the fault of the Republican Congress; just 27% said the bulk of the blame would fall on the Clinton administration.

The Pew Research Center survey, conducted September 19-22, 2013 among 1,003 adults nationwide, finds that the public is divided over whether a budget deal will be reached by the Sept. 30 deadline for shutting down the government: 46% say the two sides will reach a budget agreement, 45% say they will not.
I’ve got a little problem with this poll. Just two weeks ago, CNN polled the same question and found that 51% would blame Republicans, while only 33% said they’d blame Obama. And a National Journal insiders poll was even worse. In that, there was a bona fide consensus — 96% of Democratic insiders said the GOP would take the blame, while 90% of Republicans agreed. Keep in mind, these are people who seeing polling data on a weekly basis, if not more often. They know where the trends are going. That poll was released September 21 — just days ago.

So all signs indicate that this is maybe a not so accurate snapshot of Americans’ national mood.

[photo by Photo Phiend]

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