Shutdown angst: Americans say this government shutdown worse than 1995

← return to Water Cooler

The shutdown is getting to us: 70 percent of Americans view the ongoing shutdown of the federal government as a crisis or a major problem, even higher than the 56 percent who said the same thing the same at the height of the last shutdown in December, 1995.

So reports Art Swift, an analyst at Gallup, where pollsters tracked the sentiment then, as they do now.

“Leaders looking to gain ground in public opinion are not succeeding. A majority of Americans report feeling more negatively about the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership since the shutdown began, as well as about President Barack Obama,” Mr. Swift says.

“The negative reactions toward Obama are higher than Gallup recorded toward President Bill Clinton during the 1995 shutdown, while they are about the same toward the Republican leaders in Congress.”

Over informed, emotionally involved Americans are certainly exposed to more news now than they were 18 years ago. But they’re also dealing with additional complications on Capitol Hill.

“For both shutdowns, Americans view the situation rather seriously and think of their leaders more negatively as a result. But today, the proportion who see the shutdown as a crisis or major problem is already quite high. In a year already marked by battles over the fiscal cliff and the sequester, developments that did not exist in 1995-96,

Americans may be more tuned in to congressional turmoil and are reacting accordingly,” Mr. Swift says.

And some more numbers:

61 percent of Americans “feel more negative” about Republican leaders in Congress following the government shutdown; 62 percent felt that way during the 1995 shutdown.

57 percent feel more negative about President Obama following the shutdown; 49 percent felt that way about President Clinton in December, 1995.

49 percent say the government shutdown is a “major problem”; 44 percent felt that way in the 1995 shutdown.

21 percent say the shutdown is a “crisis”; 12 percent felt that way in 1995.

18 percent say the shutdown is a “minor problem”; 30 percent felt that way in 1995.

8 percent say the shutdown is “not a problem”; 13 percent felt that way in 1995.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,021 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 2-3.

← return to Water Cooler

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now