According to the poll, disapproval of the Republican Party has jumped from 46 percent in September of 2012 to 59 percent today. Disapproval of the GOP has climbed from 54 percent in January to 56 percent in April to nearing 60 percent today. Approval of the Republican Party has fallen from 45 percent to 35 percent. By contrast, Democratic Party unfavorability has remained virtually unchanged in the Fox poll at between 48 percent and 49 percent all through 2013.
Eighty one percent think the government shutdown is a serious problem, and they're blaming House Speaker John Boehner and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (42 percent) more than they're blaming Harry Reid and President Obama (32 percent). A new CBS News poll confirmed the Fox News poll by finding that 44 percent of Americans blame Boehner and the Republicans for the shutdown, while 35 percent blame Obama and the Democrats.
Support for repealing the Affordable Care Act has dropped from 39 percent in June to 30 percent today. The number of Americans who think that they will be better off under Obamacare has risen by seven points from 34 percent to 41 percent, and by a margin of 36-to-19 percent respondents thought that Ted Cruz's fake filibuster hurt efforts to repeal the ACA.
It may be a difficult reality check for some when a Fox News poll finds a sizable margin of people are blaming the Republicans more than Democrats, 1) you can't fall back on the old standby that polls are "rigged by the liberal media," and 2), the behavior of House Republicans isn't just hurting their 2014 chances, it's damaging the whole Republican Party.
What is looking more and more to be the reality here is that the GOP strategy of linking the funding of government to defunding or delaying the ACA has completely backfired on the Republican Party. And, as the NY Times reported Saturday, this is a strategy that was crafted months ago, shortly after the president was reelected, so we're not talking about some random, last minute, poorly thought out idea.
Power brokers of a certain conservative mindset latched onto a certain calculus which basically said this: Even after it became law, even after the Supreme Court ruled that law wasn't unconstitutional, even though we lost an election in which Republicans campaigned on the promise of repealing Obamacare, we're going to try again by any means necessary.
As one NY Times reader put,
Now we find out that this 'crisis' is exactly what it has seemed to many of us all along: a deliberate, orchestrated attempt to wreck the government by a number of oligarchs and their well-paid and well-fooled dupes. This is not a government shutdown. It is an attempted government takeover.
Or, to put it more benignly, someone --the oligarchs-- is not getting the message that they are so obsessively driven by ideology, so obsessed with a hatred for the president --perhaps even racist hatred-- that they are completely out of touch with the vast majority of the electorate. Case in point, Texas Sen Ted Cruz said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that Republicans should use the upcoming vote on the debt ceiling as "leverage" to stop Obamacare. Seriously, is Cruz just unable to stop?
And Republicans wonder why they're terrified at the notion the party may become an obsolete relic? Or is that outreach effort all just a dog and pony show?