Poll: Shutdown could help Dems in 2014


Seventy-two percent of respondents say they oppose shutting down the federal government in order block implementation of ObamaCare, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. 

In the last week, Republicans have rallied to stop the law in its tracks in stopgap spending measures, but have been unsuccessful. 

Insurance exchanges that are part of President Obama’s 2010 healthcare law—which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional in 2012—went live Tuesday.  

Among the public, people are divided on Obamacare. About 45 percent favor the law, the Quinnipiac poll shows, while 47 percent of people oppose it. Fifty-eight percent, however, oppose Congress defunding it. 

Despite the low enthusiasm for the new law, the government shutdown could give Democrats the advantage in the next midterm elections. 

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In the survey, voters chose a generic Democrat by nine percentage points in a generic ballot for 2014—the widest Democratic margin Quinnipiac has measured. Forty-three percent of people polled chose a Democrat, while 34 percent chose a Republican. 

"In general, the Republican brand is down as evidenced by the Democrats' unusually large lead in the so-called generic ballot. But we have 13 months before an election can translate this public opinion edge into electoral gains and in politics that amount of time is forever,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the university’s Polling Institute. 

Asked which major political party is to blame for congressional gridlock, 58 percent blame both equally, 28 percent blame Republicans and 10 percent accuse Democrats.   

President Obama’s approval rating, Quinnipiac says, has been faring much better than lawmakers’ on Capitol Hill. He’s been hovering around a 45-percent approval rating.  

"On almost all questions, voters see President Obama as more reasonable, and better able to handle the issues," Brown said. "But it is not because the president is beloved. He remains under water in job approval and is tied with congressional Republicans on who best handles the budget deficit. Voters are angry at almost everyone in Washington over their inability to keep the trains running, but they are madder at the Republicans than the Democrats.”