The Washington Times - October 22, 2013, 07:32AM

A new poll shows that Republicans continue to bear the brunt of the blame for the government shutdown — one more sign that the GOP’s national brand has been damaged by the budget standoff.

The Washington Post-ABC poll found that 80 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the 16-day shutdown and that 77 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way congressional Republican handled negotiations over the federal budget.

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That compared to 54 percent of those surveyed who disapproved of President Obama’s handling of the situation and 61 percent who disapproved of the way Democrats approached the situation.

The government shutdown occurred after Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and his GOP allies in the Senate and the House pushed to link the funding of Obamacare to all other government operations.

Mr. Cruz said he was speaking for millions of Americans and that Republicans who supported the budget deal that was reached last week were not listening to the public.

The new survey found that 51 percent of voters approved of the budget deal, which reopen government through January, and raised the nation’s borrowing limit through at least February.

Nearly 80 percent of voters said they think that Republicans are more interested in doing what’s best for themselves politically compared to 20 percent who think they are interested in doing what’s best for the country.

More than six in 10 of those surveyed said they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party compared to 32 percent who have a favorable view.

Meanwhile, 49 percent have an unfavorable impression of Democrats, compared to 46 percent who have a favorable view.

Half of those surveyed have a favorable view of Mr. Obama, while 48 percent have an unfavorable view of the Democrat.

The tea party also is seen in a negative light by nearly six in 10 voters, compared to about a quarter of voters who have a favorable view of the movement.

Those surveyed said that they would like to see Congress fix the nation’s deficit problems with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.