Is the Government Shutdown Really a “Win” for Democrats, Harmful for Republicans?

Articles in the National Journal, the Washington Examiner, and a poll released by Heritage Action in August all tell us something similar: Republicans will likely maintain their majority in the House of Representatives in the next election cycle.   Current polling data, some quality political analysis, and a look at the last government shutdown all help lead to that conclusion.

It’s safe to say President Obama and Senate Democrats were banking on America blaming Republicans for a government shutdown and consequently taking a hit in the next election cycle.  It appears their calculus was off by rather a lot, according to the National Journal:

A recent Bloomberg survey found that 40 percent blame the GOP for what’s wrong in Washington, while 38 percent blame the president and congressional Democrats. Back in February, Obama had a nine-point edge over Republicans and independents were evenly divided over who was responsible. Now, 42 percent of independents fault with Obama and his allies in Congress, while 34 percent blame Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The latest CNN poll found a similar trend, with the percentage who blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown down five points and the percent who blame Obama up three points.

It’s beyond reason how the Left thinks it’s Republican’s fault that the government shut down, when Republicans passed several bills to fund the government but give Americans the same break from Obamacare being given to Mr. Obama’s cronies — especially when most Americans oppose Obamacare. 

But there’s more evidence apart from just polling that it’s not Republicans who are going to take the political hit from the government shutdown.

According to new information from an “authoritative and reliable political team at the University of Virginia, headed by Larry Sabato” there is little chance Republicans will lose control of the House of Representatives.  Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s top House analyst, said, “We continue to believe that the Republicans are strongly favored to hold control of the House.”

Larry Sabato and his team looked at the current composition of the House and which seats in particular are up for grabs this election cycle.  There just aren’t many GOP House seats up for grabs this cycle, and those that are up for grabs are mostly moderate Republicans in districts where President Obama won or did well last year.

It’s reasonable to project Republican success in the next election.

But what about the 1995 – 96 government shutdown, when Republicans bore most of the blame?  Isn’t that evidence that Republicans will suffer losses in the House this year?  Actually, Senate Republicans picked up two seats, and the House maintained their majority while only losing nine seats.  Even the reelection of President Clinton over his Republican opponent was to be expected given the economy at the time.

The big takeaway is that many polls are backing what Heritage Action predicted in August with the poll released by Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham and leading pollster John Lerner.  Lerner explained:

There is no present evidence that a move to de-fund Obamacare, and the potential of a partial government shutdown, would harm Republican prospects of holding the House majority.  In fact, the very same voters who are critical to keeping the majority – Independents in potentially competitive districts – hold highly negative views on Obamacare and strongly favor a slow down in implementation or outright repeal of the law.

Unfortunately for Americans suffering from President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid’s government shutdown, and the President’s failed health care law, the Left just doesn’t get the picture.  The Wall Street Journal just reported (sub. req’d):

Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

Fortunately for Americans, it’s just not clear this official is correct that the White House is “winning.”  But they certainly are making America suffer, from living under the shadow of Obamacare, to the ailing economy, to the government shutdown.

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