A new ABC/WaPo poll highlights the dangers of ideological obstreperousness for Republicans (my bold):
Large majorities in the poll say a partial shutdown of the federal government would be a “bad thing,” but each side squarely blames the other for not compromising in the budget negotiations. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats say Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to strike a deal with the Obama administration, and 81 percent of Republicans see the president as intransigent...
Among those who say a government shutdown would be harmful, about twice as many say they would hold the GOP, rather than the president, responsible. A similar question two weeks ago showed that about as many said they would blame Obama as the congressional Republicans for a such a stoppage.
And on the economy:
When it comes to dealing with issue No. 1, the economy, Obama has an advantage: 46 percent say they put more faith in the president, 34 percent say so about congressional Republicans. Obama has a similar 12-point lead on the question of who better understands the economic problems people face, and a nine-point edge on dealing with the deficit....What the GOP thinks about Obama and the GOP doesn't matter except to DC reporters. What indies think matters hugely. And there are cracks in the lock-step GOP front:
On the economy, trust in the GOP among independents dropped from 42 percent in January to 29 percent in the new poll.
But Obama has not greatly benefited from that decline. Majorities — including most political independents — continue to say they disapprove of the president’s performance on the economy and the budget deficit.
Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 51 percent, down slightly from January, with 45 percent saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Among independents, half say they approve of the way he is conducting his presidency. Obama spent the bulk of 2010 below the 50 percent mark among this key segment.
Still, that leaves Obama in a stronger position when compared with President Bill Clinton after Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress in 1994. In the spring of 1995, two-thirds of all Americans saw congressional Republicans in the dominant leadership role.The tea party is pushing the GOP way beyond where the country wants (see Wisconsin, locally, see the House nationally). we're not done with GOP overreach, alas, but we're not done with the consequences of overreach, either, and one consequence is going to be the GOP losing the middle, the indies and the 2012 election. After all this time, the Republicans remain unloved, especially when they are in power. They should stick with being a theoretical alternative. It'd help their poll numbers and the country's prosperity.
This year, Obama also faces a divided Republican base: Among self-identified Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who describe themselves as “very conservative,” 61 percent say a government shutdown would be a positive development; 58 percent of those who are less conservative or moderate disagree.