While the most extreme members of the GOP continue to claim that they are simply doing the will of the people, declaring their willingness to give us a repeat performance of the shutdown debacle should the Democrats not give in to their demands come the first of the year, the polls are telling a different story.
A poll conducted by CNN and ORC International which was released on Monday found that 75% of the people do not believe that any of the GOP members of Congress deserve to be reelected. In fact, there was nothing in the findings of this poll which can be seen as a positive for the Republican Party.
Although there is time for things to change, with the mid-term elections over a year away. At the moment, the Democrats enjoy an eight-point lead in favor of them taking control of Congress next year.
The poll which was conducted between Friday of last week and Sunday found that the majority see the President as the bigger winner in the shutdown standoff, while blame the Republicans for the debacle.
Eighty percent said that the shutdown was bad for the country and 70% said that they believe that another is likely when the current CR expires in three months.
Perhaps one of the more telling findings was that of the 75% who don’t think that any of the current members of Congress deserve to be reelected. Forty precent say that even their own representative should not be reelected. Historically when asked that question, of those who believe that most Congressmen should not be reelected, the vast majority would exempt their own Representative from the “throw the bums out” attitude, it is always the other guy’s Representative that needs to go.
CNN polling director Keating Holland said, “Although incumbent members of Congress of both parties are not very popular, the shutdown seems to have only affected views of GOP incumbents.”
While 75% said that most Republicans should not be returned for another term 54% said the same of Democrats. From a positive aspect 20% said that most Republicans should be reelected with 42% saying the same of incumbent Democrats.
When registered voters were asked the generic question of whether or not they’d vote for the Democratic or the Republican candidate in their district, 50% said they would vote for the Democrat while 42% said they would vote Republican, one percentage point away from the findings of a recent Quinnipiac poll.
Those numbers of course cannot be seen as any sort of guarantee, Congressional elections are won and lost on a district by district basis and only 17 of the Republican seats up for grabs next year are in districts which the President carried in last year’s election.
Another telling finding is the number of those polled who see one side or the other as too extreme. In March, 48% thought that the Republicans are too extreme while the new poll found that 56% now feel that way. Democrats on the other hand were viewed as too extreme by 42% with 52% saying that they are more or less mainstream; numbers which have not changed since the March poll.
When asked who was more responsible for the shutdown, 52% said Republicans while only 34% blamed the President. Among Independents, 45% blame Republicans with 36% saying that it was the President.
In the case that there is another shutdown, the results are nearly even as to which side should be willing to make more concessions, with 49% saying it should be the Republicans and 44% saying it should be the Democrats.
In regards to the government in general, only one-third say that they have some confidence in the way it is being run, ten points lower than in May, with only 14% saying that they are satisfied with the way the nation is being run.
This prompted Holland to say, “That’s an 11-point drop since March and is lower than the 26% who felt that way in September of 1973, when the Watergate crisis was in full swing.”
While it is still a long way to the mid term elections these numbers do not bode well for the Republicans to retain control of the House, certainly not if they don’t make some adjustments in their rhetoric and actions in the next twelve-plus months.