Republicans getting more blame for government shutdown, polls show

Republicans are taking more of the blame for a stalemate over the government shutdown, but both parties have dug into their positions, two new polls show.

A new poll from Washington Post/ABC News found that disapproval of Republicans is up to 70 percent among American adults from 63 percent approval at the end of September. Disapproval of Democrats is up to 61 percent from 56 percent at the end of last month.

But President Obama is faring the best. His approval rating is up to 45 percent from 41 percent at the end of September, due to an 11-point increase in his approval from Democrats and independents from last week.

The poll's findings track with a new Pew survey out Monday that finds the disapproval ratings for lawmakers' handling of the situation is 69 percent for Republicans, 58 percent for Democrats and just 50 percent for Mr. Obama.

The Pew survey also found that by a margin of 38 percent to 30 percent, respondents say Republicans are more to blame for the shutdown than Mr. Obama. Nineteen percent say both parties are to blame. That is a starker divide from the end of September, when 39 percent said they would blame Republicans for a shutdown and 36 percent said they would blame the Obama administration.

As the conflict drags into its second week, both camps have dug in. Forty-four percent of people say Republican leaders should give in on their demand that a budget deal include cuts or delays to the Affordable Care Act. An almost equal percentage, 42, say Mr. Obama should agree to changes to the law.

On top of that, 58 percent of Democrats say it is unacceptable for Mr. Obama to agree to any cuts or delays. Fifty-four percent of Republicans say the same of the GOP: it would be unacceptable for them to agree to a deal that does not include cuts or delays to Obamacare. That number rises among Tea Party Republicans, 88 percent of whom say Mr. Obama should agree to cuts and delays and 72 percent of whom say it would be unacceptable for GOP leaders to accept anything less than a delay in implementation or slashed funding for the law.

The appetite for compromise is more than just a majority, Pew found. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed say lawmakers who share their views should be willing to make compromises; 29 percent say they should not.

The number of people who believe it is absolutely essential the debt ceiling be raised is 47 percent, up seven points from July 2011, the last time the U.S. came close to a default. But thirty-nine percent of people say that a default on the debt would not cause major economic problems.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted October 2 to 6 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults reached on conventional and cellular phones. The overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The Pew poll was conducted from October 3 to 6 among a national sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States on both conventional and cellular phones.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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