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Americans Divided on Shutdown by Party Lines but United in Thinking it Hurts the Economy

October 7, 2013 - 6:00pm

As the federal shutdown continues into its second week, a new poll finds a major partisan divide over it. But the poll also finds that voters of all stripes believe a continued shutdown will hurt the economy.

Rasmussen Reports released a survey on Tuesday which finds 82 percent of Democrats want to end the shutdown and keep President Barack Obamas health care law funded. But a majority of Republicans -- 71 percent -- want the shutdown going until the law is defunded. Voters outside the two major parties are divided, with 47 percent wanting the shutdown to continue in order to defund the health care law and 44 percent wanting the shutdown to end.

A slight majority of all voters surveyed -- 51 percent -- support ending the shutdown and leaving the health care law funded, but 41 percent want to see it continue and the law defunded.

Still, the poll finds most Americans have not been impacted by the continuing shutdown. Only 13 percent of those surveyed have said the shutdown has had a major impact in their lives so far while 38 percent say its had a minor impact. Almost a majority -- 47 percent -- said the shutdown has had no impact in their lives.

But the poll shows voters are not optimistic about the future of the shutdown as 52 percent of those surveyed believe it will have a negative impact in their lives while only 11 percent think it will have a positive impact. A third of those surveyed -- 33 percent -- do not think the shutdown will have an impact in their lives.

Americans are more pessimistic about the continued shutdowns impact on the economy, with 69 percent of those surveyed thinking it will have a negative impact and more than a third -- 34 percent -- of voters saying it will have a negative impact. While 12 percent say the shutdown will have no impact on the economy, 15 percent think it will have a positive impact.

Voters from all political affiliations believe the shutdown will hurt the economy: 59 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of voters outside the two major parties. Still, conservatives can take some heart as 64 percent of those surveyed want to continue to cut federal spending to help the economy while only 24 percent think more should be spent on government to boost the economy.

The poll finds Americans are tuned into the government shutdown. An overwhelming majority -- 92 percent -- of those surveyed say they are following news about the shutdown with almost two-thirds -- 64 percent -- saying they are following it very closely.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken from Oct. 6-7 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

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