GOP Shoulders More Blame for Shutdown in Latest Poll

(CN) – Lawmakers in Washington spent the weekend negotiating a deal to end the shutdown of the federal government while blaming their colleagues on the other side of the aisle for it. Meanwhile, more Americans say they blame Republicans for the shutdown, according to a new poll.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll, released Monday, shows 41 percent of registered voters said Republicans bear more responsibility for the shutdown, while 36 percent said Democrats are to blame. The poll is an early indicator, however, taken just before the government shutdown.

At the heart of the shutdown is an impasse over immigration reform. Democrats want support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that allows nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay in the country.

Republicans want to pass more substantial immigration reform, including more border security and funding for President Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexican border, estimated to cost about $20 billion.

The shutdown, which comes exactly a year into Trump’s presidency, has spilled out onto Twitter in a blame game between the hashtags “TrumpShutdown” and “SchumerShutdown,” the latter named for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

“One year into the Trump presidency, Democrats can’t shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted. “This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. Do your job Democrats: fund our military and reopen our government #SchumerShutdown.”

Schumer, meanwhile, placed blame on the president for being unable to negotiate a deal.

“This will be called the #TrumpShutdown,” Schumer tweeted. “There is no one who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump.”

Social media analytics company Talkwalker reported that by Saturday afternoon, #TrumpShutdown had been used 2.6 million times across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, while the #SchumerShutdown tag had been used half as much.

While a shutdown vastly affects public life, they tend to have much less of an impact on elections. Following the government shutdown in 2013 in which they received the blame, Republicans took over the Senate and increased their majority in the House in midterm elections the following year.

More relevant are the historical factors of midterm elections and popularity of the president. Midterm elections usually favor the opposing party of the president, especially when the president’s approval ratings are low.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday, 54 percent of registered voters said they planned to vote for a Democrat in their local congressional race, compared to 40 percent who said they will vote Republican.

The Democrats’ double-digit lead could be an early indicator of a congressional win, where they need to win 24 seats to flip the House from red to blue. Of course, in the new Washington where every day feels like its own week, a lot can happen between now and November.


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