Sen. Lee's approval rating sinks

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has seen his favorability wane in his home state over his role in the government shutdown.

According to a Brigham Young University poll released on Wednesday, 40 percent said they have a favorable view of Lee, against 51 percent who view him unfavorably. 

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That’s a 20-point swing from the same poll in June, when 50 percent viewed Lee favorably and 41 percent had an unfavorable view of their senator.

In addition, 57 percent said Lee should be more willing to compromise, even if it means passing a budget that funds ObamaCare. Only 43 percent said he should stand by his principles and continue fighting through the government shutdown.

Lee is wildly popular in Utah among Republicans, who approve of his stance by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin, and active Tea Party members, who approve 90 percent to 10 percent. 

However, Lee’s positions among Independents, Democrats and even “not active Tea Party” members sink his overall numbers. Sixty-five percent of independents say Lee should be more willing to compromise, against 38 percent who say he should stand on principle.

“All told, then, Lee has overwhelming support from the quarter of the population that doesn’t reject the Tea Party,” wrote Quin Monson of BYU. “But the three-quarters of Utahns who do not identify with the Tea Party come to the exact opposite conclusion.”

Lee does not face reelection until 2016.

Lee, along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), played a key role in the government shutdown by pushing House Republicans to withhold all government appropriations in an attempt to defund ObamaCare.

Some Republicans criticized those tactics, arguing it was unrealistic to think the White House would agree to defund the healthcare law and said that Republicans would end up being blamed for the shutdown.

According to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, only 28 percent have a favorable view of the GOP, the worst rating Gallup has ever registered for a political party. And Republicans now appear to be moving away from healthcare demands in the fiscal fights.