When it comes to public opinion and the debt-ceiling fight, Republicans assume that the public is with them, and voter support bolsters the GOP’s refusals to negotiate.
The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.
Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their intransigent resistance to raising taxes. […]
Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks.
Got that? Most Republican voters think their own party’s officials are wrong.
To be sure, the public doesn’t seem especially impressed with anyone in Washington right now, and that’s not surprising. But I put the CBS poll’s results in a chart to help drive the larger point home.
The columns on the left show support for President Obama’s handling of the fight, with critics slightly out numbering supporters. The middle columns show support for congressional Democrats, who only draw 31% support.
But it’s congressional Republicans who bear the brunt here, with only 21% approving of their tactics, as opposed to 71% who disapprove.
Also note, this poll comes on the heels of four separate national surveys, all of which showed most Americans agree with Democrats that a debt-reduction agreement should include a combination of cuts and new revenue.
Under sane circumstances, Republicans would see results like these and think, “Maybe we ought to shift gears, since the American mainstream is turning against us.” But congressional Republicans assume none of this matters — the 21% who are still with them is the base that shows up on election day, and Super PACs will spend gajillions to convince everyone else that Democrats are demonic communists anyway.