Angry About the Shutdown? Join the Club

Americans don’t want the government shuttered to block Obamacare, and they lay blame for the shutdown on Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released on Oct. 1.

BudgetTo be sure, Americans aren’t wild about the Affordable Care Act, but they oppose the idea of shutting down the government to stop it by a massive 50-point margin — 72 percent to 22 percent. A similar share is also against blocking an increase in the debt ceiling for the same purpose.

Americans aren’t happy with any of the politicians involved in the impasse that caused massive furloughing of federal employees beginning Oct. 1, the same day Americans without health insurance could begin shopping for it through new online marketplaces. But anger is directed most of all at Republicans, whose approval ratings dropped to their lowest level ever — with 17 percent approving of the job they are doing and 74 percent disapproving.

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“Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it’s worth closing down the government to stop it, said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

A majority of those polled blamed both parties equally for gridlock in Washington. But among others who singled out a party, the blame fell more heavily on Republicans. Among 50- through 64-year-olds, 31 percent said the gridlock was caused by Republicans, as did 32 percent of people 65 and older. Just 13 percent of each group said the gridlock was caused by Democrats.

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“Voters are angry at almost everyone in Washington over their inability to keep the trains running,” Brown said, “but they are madder at the Republicans than the Democrats.”

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