Poll: Voters Will Blame Republicans and Democrats for Government Shutdown

Shutdown politics are not a slam dunk for Democrats.


A new Pew Research Center poll suggests that both Republicans and Democrats would feel the brunt of their constituency in the event of a government shutdown.

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A government shutdown would be bad, but not just for Republicans.

In Washington, political pundits and pollsters have carried on endlessly about the political tragedy that would befall Republicans if they allow the government to shut down over their crusade against Obamacare.

A new Pew Research Center poll, however, dispels the conventional thinking and reveals that Democrats wouldn't fare all that well either.

According to the survey "there will be plenty of blame to go around" with 36 percent of Americans pointing fingers at the Democrats and 39 percent faulting Republicans. Roughly 20 percent of Americans say the parties would be equally responsible if the government was forced to close its doors because of a fiscal showdown.

[READ: Ted Cruz Won't Let Obamacare Fight Go]

The poll reveals that past isn't always prologue on Capitol Hill.

In 1995, when a budget battle led to a government shutdown, nearly 50 percent of Americans blamed House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republicans for the debacle and only 27 percent believed then-President Bill Clinton was the culprit.

Today, the blame is more equally spread.

Americans are split today, however, on whether the country will be forced to the brink.

While 46 percent surveyed said they thought President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would be able to negotiate a deal, 45 percent were not as optimistic that the Republicans and Democrats would come to the negotiating table and compromise before the Oct. 1 deadline.

Nearly 60 percent of voters polled would rather see the two parties compromise and pass a plan that not everyone agrees with than cut off funding for the government as a matter of principle. Only 33 percent wanted their lawmaker to stand their ground no matter the consequences.

[READ: Obama Bashes GOP After Budget Vote to Defund Obamacare]

The exception was self-identified tea party members. More than 70 percent of GOP voters who identified with the tea party said they would rather their representatives stand by their promise to defund Obamacare even at the risk of a government shutdown.

The poll also showed that Democrats view a government shutdown as much more detrimental for the economy than Republicans do. More than 70 percent of Democrats believed it would disrupt the recovery while just 51 percent of Republicans believed it would have an effect.

Roughly 1,000 adults were polled between Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 for the survey.

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