As the country tabulates how costly the government shut down was for the economy, a new poll shows just how bad it was for the Republicans who caused it. The new CNN/ ORC International survey released Monday found that 54% of the public says that it's bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. More than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.
The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, just after the end of the 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was caused in part by a push by House conservatives to try and dismantle the health care law, which is President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement
The percentage of Americans who think it is bad for the country that Republicans control the House is up 11% since the last time the poll was taken. This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.
"John Boehner fares just as badly as the GOP," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Sixty-three percent of all Americans think that Boehner should be replaced as Speaker of the House, a view shared by roughly half of all Republicans."
Clearly the public is outraged over the government shut down and they rightly blame Republicans. At the time, House Republicans were convinced that the public would blame President Obama for the shutdown even though only Congress can pass a budget, not the president.
"Barack Obama's numbers are pretty anemic, but he remains in much better shape than the GOP," CNN’s Holland said. "Even though Obama's approval rating remains stuck in the mid-40s, it didn't take a hit during the shutdown -- 44% just before the shutdown began; 44% now."
Republicans who thought their strategy was a winner were obviously listening only to Fox News which does not reflect the views of the American people like it claims to. This poll and the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll are consistent when it comes to assessing public outrage over the Republican tactics. Fox News operates in an echo chamber.
CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King said there is time for Republicans to recover before the 2014 midterms.
"The midterm election is a year away. There's plenty of time for Republicans to work on the brand, but they've taken a bit of a beating here. They've got some work to do. They need a bit of a makeover," King said.
There may be time for Republicans to work on their brand, but there is nothing that indicates they will, or that they even believe they need to change their brand. Remember, 58% of all Republicans voted to keep the government closed and default on our debt.
Ted Cruz and Tea Party Republicans are unrepentant. They vow to continue the fight to de-fund Obamacare during the next round of budget negotiations and the next debt ceiling fight after New Years Day. Moderate Republicans like John McCain-- who was once at the far right of the GOP caucus--say that shutting down the government over Obamacare was a “Fools Errand.” They say it can’t happen again. Cruz and others have the opposite view. They can’t rule out another shutdown or even a default as a means of defunding Obamacare.
After the Romney defeat, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus spent a ton of money on focus groups to tell him the Republican brand stunk. He found the public views the party as a “bunch of old white men.” Priebus vowed to make over the party. So far, everything that Republicans do or say, including Priebus, has the opposite effect. Republicans have neither changed their tone, their rhetoric, or their policies.
There may be a Republican of two in Washington that finds this latest poll disturbing. Maybe the corporations and wealthy individuals who bank roll the GOP might look elsewhere for a better ROI, or engage in their own purge. Once those so-called moderate Republicans realize purges and primaries work both ways, the GOP will be better off, and so will the country.