With the government now reopen for business, the after effects of the shutdown are taking its toll, especially on the Republican party.
The big demand by Republicans, especially their Tea Party caucus, was a full repeal of Obamacare or defunding the law so it could not be implemented. The government shutdown on October 1st, the first day the health care exchanges were open for the public. Despite rhetoric from right-wing news sources and Tea Party backed congressional members, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), multiple polls show that in the aftermath of the government shutdown, Republicans are seeing their approval ratings drop while the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is becoming more popular.
According to a recent CNBC poll, 44 percent of Americans oppose defunding "Obamacare," compared to 38 percent who want to see the new health care law defunded. When asked if they supported defunding the law if it was tied to a government shutdown, an overwhelming 59 percent were opposed. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that the approval for the Affordable Care Act increased seven points, from 31 percent to 38 percent since the government shutdown following Tea Party demands. While the number is still low, it shows Americans are starting to finally warm up to the idea of "Obamacare." A recent Gallup poll even showed that two-thirds of uninsured Americans were planning to sign up for health insurance through the exchange program created by the Affordable Care Act.
With Republican approval ratings at historic lows, the GOP will need to change their tune if they want to repeat the success of the 2010 midterms in 2014. The majority of the American people put the blame for the government shutdown at the doorstep of congressional Republicans, which prompted them to fold on their demands and cave to an uncompromising President Obama. The president has often moved to the center to meet Republicans, moving away from his base for the good of the country. As the president has made his move to the right, Republicans continue to move away from him following constant pressure from the Tea Party.
As Think Progress points out, multiple pollsters have issued a warning to the Republican party that if they continue to bash the new health care law and be led by the Tea Party members in congress, their party will fall further into disarry.