Top pollster says Americans will punish Republicans for shutdown

As the government shutdown generates more and more horror stories, including growing numbers of cases where it has literally put life and limb in danger, polls indicate that the American public is becoming angrier and that their anger is being directed at the Republican Party.

As each day passes Americans are hearing new stories about how the shutdown is hurting people they care about. It was revealed today, for example, that troops at U.S. military bases are going to have to do without medial attention they have been getting from civilian staff that usually provide it.

Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, said at a Washington D.C. press conference today that a host of recent polls show Republicans will pay a steep price at the ballot box for the government shutdown.

“If they (Republicans) do not get over their obsession with trying to keep millions of Americans uninsured and everyone vulnerable to insurance company abuse they will pay the price,” added Brad Woohouse, president of Americans United for Change, who joined Garin at the press conference.

“If House Republicans are interested in avoiding political suicide,” said Woodhouse, “they are advised to pass a clean continuing resolution to immediately reopen the government and abandon their plan B: defaulting on the nation’s debt obligations, spiking interest rates on the middle calss, and grinding economic growth to a halt.’

“In fact it seems likely now that the 2014 mid-term elections are going to be a referendum on the poor stewardship of the House by the GOP during the period they have been in control,” Garrin said.

He said that none of the major polls show much more than 20 percent in support of shutting down the government as a means of cutting funding for Obamacare. He cited the most recent Quinnipaiac poll showing 74 percent disapproval of the GOP shutdown tactic.

Despite the government shutdown, Open enrollment in Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act Insurance Exchange) went forward Oct. 1. While detractors complained about “glitches” it was widespread public interest by millions, not problems with affordable health care, that brought servers nearly to the brink, according to Woodhouse.

“When all is said and done,” he added, “the most telling thing that people will remember is that at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1 the Republicans shut down the government. At 12:01 on Oct. 1 Democrats brought America affordable health care for all.”

Photo: Republicans Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and Kevin McCarthy. DonkeyHotey/Flickr (CC)


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York. Along with being labor editor, Wojcik is a co-editor of