NUMBERS THAT SHOULD MAKE THE GOP NERVOUS…. Dave Weigel flags an interesting tidbit from the new NBC poll.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday found that 40 percent of voters would blame Republicans if the government shut down, 20 percent would blame Obama, and 20 percent would blame congressional Democrats. Compare that with the poll that was conducted in October 1995, the last time the government shut down. Sixteen years ago, 43 percent of voters said a shutdown would be Republicans’ fault, and 32 percent said it would be Bill Clinton’s fault. And that was the high watermark for Republicans. They lost ground once the shutdown started.

Much of the recent talk has concluded that Republicans are in a better spot, at least politically, going into this shutdown as compared to the Gingrich/Dole shutdown(s) 16 years ago. But there’s evidence to the contrary.

Indeed, most Americans probably haven’t followed developments on the Hill especially closely up until now. When the mainstream learns that Democrats accepted the GOP’s demands on spending cuts, and Republicans shut down the government anyway, the poll numbers for the GOP will likely get worse, just as they did in the ’90s.

In the meantime, the budget talks appear to be breaking down again. More on this soon.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.