The narrative out of Washington has been how bad the shutdown is for the GOP brand. Indeed, the GOP took a beating in the polls but so did Democrats. Big Time! However the main reason why Congressional Democrats are doing better in the polls is because 1) their own base rallies around them during political crisis whereas the GOP base, comprised of people who can think for themselves, has diverse opinions. 2) The Media and journalists keep hyping the bad GOP numbers which in itself kills the GOP even more all while brazenly ignoring the bad polling numbers of the Democrats.
The latest example of brazen bias came from Reuters reporting that “a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Monday found that 74% of Americans disapprove of the way congressional Republicans have handled the standoff, compared with a 53% disapproval rating for Obama.” Reuters simply ignores that 67% Americans in the same poll disapprove of how Congressional Democrats are handling this issue. In this same poll, only 20% Independents approve of how Congressional Republicans are handling this issue. Congressional Democrats are at 24% on this issue and Obama is at 37%. It is no surprise that a President would do better than a GOP-run institution which is trashed all the time, but Obama’s numbers on this issue among Independents is nothing to be proud of, and Congressional Democrats are as in bad shape as the GOP. But have you seen these numbers anywhere? No, just as you have not seen in the news that Obama’s overall approval among Independents crashed to 33% in the NBC/WSJ poll of last week; a poll which was suppose to signal the end of the Republican Party.
And don’t get me started on the AP from last week where they headlined that 62% blamed the GOP for the shutdown despite the fact that 49% in the same poll also blamed Obama and a larger number blamed Democrats on the Hill. Among Independents, the GOP and Dems were doing similarly bad on the shutdown issue, but that was not news; just as Obama dropping to 37% in overall approval among all Americans in the AP poll has not been news until hours after the poll was released and people such as my self fished out that information. But how did Yahoo News headline the AP poll on their main news page? America Blames the GOP for Shutdown.
There are more numbers: Days into the shutdown, 44% in a Pew Research Poll said the GOP should agree to open the government even if it means no change in Obamacare while 42% said Obama should agree to open the Government even if it does mean changes to his law. Similarly, only 40% in the WSJ/NBC poll agreed with Obama not to deal with the GOP as long the shutdown continues while 43% disagreed with him. Don’t forget, the NBC/WSJ poll sampled 11 points more Democrats than Republicans (a pro Dem sample not seen in mist other recent polling). Better yet, Obama’s net favorability ratings in the daily Gallup and Rasmussen polls has taken a beating since the shutdown but none of these numbers are headlined, repeated and reported hourly because it does not fit the agenda of the folks in Media who by a 70-30 margin vote for Democrats.
To sum it up: The country is evenly divided if Obama should or should not deal with the “terrorist” Republicans. Blame for the shutdown is stronger against the GOP than Dems because Dems don’t blame their own much but in the eyes of Independents both parties are almost equally blamed. While this goes on, Obama’s net favorability has tanked in two polls; his overall approval crashed to 37% in another poll, and his is overall support among Independents has totally collapsed to 33% but somehow it’s time for the GOP to give up the fight…