Voters Blame GOP for Government Shutdown

Who’s to blame for the government shutdown of 2013? Depends who you ask.

In late September 2013, the House voted to make funding the government contingent on a one-year delay of the Obamacare healthcare reforms. Consequently, from October 1, 2013, the start of the government’s new fiscal year, to October 17, 2013, the U.S. government was shut down, placing hundreds of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave. Select essential services remained open for public safety.

In an age of bipartisan politics, when uncompromising parties reach an apparent stalemate, the inevitable blame game ensues. But, we aren’t just a nation of Democratic and Republican citizens, who support our respective party no matter what. Despite the simplistic picture the media often paints, we are a bit more complex than Democrats supporting Democratic Party decisions and Republicans supporting Republican Party decisions; although, party loyalty is part of the story too.

qSample tapped into both its general consumer panel, SurveyGIANTS and its likely voter panel, VoterFeedback. Half of likely voter participants (50%) believe the Republicans are solely to blame for the government shutdown, while just 30% of the general population respondents blame House Republicans only. Thirty percent of likely voter respondents blame both parties and 45% of general population respondents say both are at fault.

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Both groups surveyed exhibited some apparent party allegiance with Democratic respondents being the most likely group to blame House Republicans solely. Fifty-three percent of the Democratic general population respondents and 81% of Democratic likely voter respondents blame just the House Republicans for the government shutdown.

On the other hand, Republicans from both groups surveyed were most likely to blame both the House and Senate for the shutdown, with 54% of Republicans from the general population group and 46% of Republicans from the likely voter group blaming both parties.

Where do Independents fall in his debate? Forty-eight percent of Independents from the general population group blame both parties, while 35% blame just the Republicans. The numbers are reversed when we look a Independents’ responses from the VoterFeedback group. Forty-eight percent blame Republicans only and 34% blame both parties.

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Where do these same groups of people stand on Obamacare? The majority of both the general population respondents (68%) and likely voter respondents (62%) are in favor or neutral towards Obamacare, with 26% and 35% opposed respectively.

Both groups feel effected in some way by the government shutdown with 34% of the general population respondents and 29% of the likely voter respondents saying that the shutdown affects them either personally or financially or both. Another 24% and 37% respectively say that the shutdown affects either their friends or family.

Whether a citizen is directly affected by the shutdown or feels empathy towards those going without pay or concern over the political system, economy or healthcare reform, the 2013 shutdown touched people in a lot of different ways. Voters will likely remember these events come election time, and the shutdown may even affect the outcome of some elections.

VoterFeedback is an online community of likely voters who have agreed to participate in various roundtable discussions on both national and local issues. To learn more about qSample’s VoterFeedback panel, visit voterfeedback.com.

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by Stacy Sherwood

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