Poll: Public wants to avoid shutdown over Planned Parenthood

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A huge majority wants Congress to keep the government open, regardless of whether that means providing funding to Planned Parenthood, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Monday. 

The poll finds that 71 percent of adults say it is more important for Congress to approve a spending bill to keep the government open, compared to 22 percent who say it is more important to eliminate all federal funds for Planned Parenthood. 

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The poll comes as Republicans grapple with how to avoid a shutdown. GOP leaders in the House are coming under heavy pressure from conservatives to block funding for Planned Parenthood. Congress must pass a funding bill by Oct. 1.

The percentage looking to avoid a shutdown is somewhat larger than it was in September 2013, ahead of a shutdown fight over ObamaCare. That year, a CNN/ORC poll found 60 percent prioritized avoiding a shutdown, while 31 percent wanted to cut off ObamaCare funds more. The government still ended up shutting down for 16 days that year. 

The poll Monday shows that Republicans slightly prioritize avoiding a shutdown over defunding Planned Parenthood, by a margin of 48 percent to 44 percent. 

Men and women have largely similar views. Men prioritize avoiding a shutdown by a margin of 70 percent to 21 percent, while women do by 71 percent to 24 percent. 

Republican leaders have announced votes on a 20-week abortion ban in the Senate and a standalone defunding bill in the House in an attempt to divert energy away from the government funding fight.