Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday expressed confidence that Republicans would emerge in the 2014 elections unscathed by fallout from the shutdown.
“As long as we stay focused on the priorities of the American people, I think we’re going to be fine,” he said. “What are they concerned about? They’re concerned about their jobs. They’re concerned about their income. They’re concerned about their health insurance and how they’re going to be able to afford it and how they’re going to be able to navigate through this bizarre [ObamaCare] plan that they now have to deal with.”
Multiple polls have shown Republicans receiving the brunt of the blame for the shutdown, and the party's brand has taken a hit in recent weeks.
An Oct. 9 Gallup survey showed Republicans receiving the approval of only 28 percent of Americans, a record low since Gallup started polling more than two decades ago.
Such polling has given Democrats cautious hope that control of the House might realistically be in play in 2014. Democrats need to net 17 seats to flip the lower chamber, a difficult reach in any cycle but particularly in a midterm election year for the party holding the White House.
But Democrats tout a sudden boost in recruiting sparked by the shutdown and various district-specific polls that show Republicans smarting from the situation.
Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, recently said the shutdown would "widen the path" for Democrats to take back the majority.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll showed Democrats with an 8-percentage-point lead over Republicans in a generic ballot test, while they had a 9-percentage-point lead over the GOP in the most recent Quinnipiac survey.