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Government shutdown threat unacceptable, poll says

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus


a potential government shutdown  now looming, Americans find it unacceptable for either a president or members of Congress to threaten a government shutdown in order to achieve their goals, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

Eighty percent of Americans say threatening a government shutdown during budget debates is not an acceptable way to negotiate; only 16 percent think it is.

While partisan divides may exist on a number of issues, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree that threatening a shutdown of the government is not the way to negotiate.

When asked about cooperation in order to get things done, President Obama fares better than the Republicans in Congress. He receives credit from about half of Americans (51 percent) for reaching across the aisle and trying to work with Republicans in Congress - but that represents a drop from 60 percent in January 2012.

Still, far fewer Americans see Republicans in Congress reciprocating. Just 23 percent say they are trying to work with the President, and 70 percent say they are not.


This poll was conducted by telephone from September 19-23, 2013 among 1,014 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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