Initially, the American people’s verdict on the government shutdown appeared to be “a pox on both their houses.” Republicans received plurality blame, but Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and both major parties took something of a hit in the early polls.
But as the shutdown has continued, public opinion is beginning to look as one-sided as it did in 1995-96, if it isn’t worse. The Republican Party’s favorability rating is at a record low, falling 10 points since September to just 28 percent. That’s the lowest for either major party since Gallup started asking the question in 1992.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found even worse results for the GOP. Most telling, approval of Obamacare—though still low—has risen since October 1 despite a rocky roll-out. This does not bode well for efforts to use the shutdown as leverage to defund Obamacare.