Hard-core Republicans blame President Barack Obama for the shutdown of the U.S. government. Democrats point to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and the Tea Party as those most guilty of Washington’s current status. House Speaker John Boehner wants the president to negotiate on the debt ceiling, but he won’t. House Republicans say they’re willing to talk, and they say their Democratic colleagues won’t show up.
It is, quite simply, a nasty time to be in Congress or the White House.
Turns out that the Republican Party, according to Gallup, is becoming the punching bag for Americans ticked off by what’s going on — or what’s not going on — in Washington. Gallup’s latest polling, released Wednesday, shows the GOP’s national favorability has dropped 10 percentage points since September and has reached a historic low of 28 percent, the lowest favorable rating for either party since Gallup began collecting the data in 1992.
Democrats aren’t faring well, either, Gallup says. The party of Obama has a favorability rating of only 43 percent, down 4 percentage points since the previous month.
According to pollsters, “The Republican Party is clearly taking a bigger political hit from Americans thus far in the unfolding saga ... This contrasts with previous Gallup findings from just before the government shutdown showing the Republican Party making up ground on a few key issues. Thus, the Republican Party’s current strategy in the fiscal debates may not be paying dividends.
“(However) both parties are down from where they were just after the 2012 elections, indicating the many political battles of 2013 have had a corrosive effect on the two parties’ images.”
Ultimately, the shutdown will end and Congress will return to some semblance of normality, or whatever passes for it these days. The fallout from this damaging, needless charade will no doubt linger as the 2014 elections draw near. The unveiling of reputable polling number such as these ought to make those in the GOP’s leadership more than a little concerned.