It really isn't 1996 all over again - The Hill poll finds Dems would suffer more from government shutdown than GOP 

More evidence that the public would likely react very differently to a government shutdown in 2011 than it did in 1995 when a newly elected Republican congressional majority went to the mat with President Clinton on cutting government spending and eliminating wasteful federal programs.

Then, it appeared the public held the GOP mostly responsible for two separate shutdowns, and political lore ever since has been that House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his troops erred in pushing too hard for too many spending cuts that went too deep.

But now along comes The Hill with a new survey that finds 29 percent of the respondents would blame the Democrats for a shutdown this year, while only 23 percent would blame Republicans.

Even more significant, though, is that 34 percent of the Independents surveyed would blame Democrats, while only 19 percent would blame Republicans. Clearly, the Independents are with the GOP on the necessity of reducing federal spending and the national debt.

As is so often the case, gender appears to play a significant role in how individuals would view a shutdown, according to The Hill:

"Democrats would have the toughest time with men — 36 percent would blame Democrats, compared to 19 percent who would blame Republicans. Twenty-seven percent of women would blame Republicans, compared to 22 percent who would blame Democrats."

But all is not rosy for the GOP or negative for the Democrats, according to The Hill:

"A plurality of voters, 43 percent, would blame both Republicans and Democrats if the lights go out at midnight on March 5. Forty-five percent of respondents said neither party would benefit politically from a shutdown."

There is much more of interest in this survey, which interviewed 1,000 likely voters and has a three-percent margin of error plus or minus. Go here for the rest of The Hill story.



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