The Washington Times - October 1, 2013, 09:15AM

While the American public blames both parties for the government shutdown, Democrats are still ahead in the 2014 elections because President Obama is seen as “more reasonable” than congressional Republicans.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that 58 percent of those polled blame both parties equally for the gridlock, while 28 percent blame Republicans and just 10 percent blame Democrats. It also found that Americans trust Mr. Obama more than Republicans in Congress to help low-income families and the middle class, as well as handle health care and the economy.

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“On almost all questions, voters see President Obama as more reasonable, and better able to handle the issues,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. “But it is not because the president is beloved. He remains under water in job approval and is tied with Congressional Republicans on who best handles the budget deficit. Voters are angry at almost everyone in Washington over their inability to keep the trains running, but they are madder at the Republicans than the Democrats.”

Because of this, an early look suggests that Democrats will come out ahead in the next election. In 2014 congressional races, those polled pick a generic Democrat over a generic Republican by a 43 percent to 34 percent margin.

While Americans are divided in their support of the Affordable Care Act, the vast majority, at 72 percent, are opposed to the GOP’s tactics to try to defund it, which resulted in a government shutdown. People also don’t want the fight over Obamacare to extend to the debt ceiling debate later this month, with 64 percent in opposition.

“Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by Congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it’s worth closing down the government to stop it,” Mr. Brown said.

The poll was conducted Sept. 23-29 by live interviewers on land lines and cellphones across the country. Almost 1,500 registered voters were surveyed; the margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.