Nightly News   |  October 10, 2013

Majority of Americans say country heading in wrong direction

According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, the shutdown has been a political disaster. One in three say the shutdown has directly impacted their lives, and 65 percent say the shutdown is doing quite a bit of harm to the economy. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening. after ten days of this, when you ask americans what they think of the government shutdown or, better yet, what they think of their government they will tell you and they won't hold back. they have told us rather decidedly who they blame for it. in fact, our pollsters tell us it is among the most forceful responses to any of our nbc news polls in recent memory. americans are in a dark mood about the state of our country. close to 8 in 10, 78% say we are headed in the wrong direction. elected officials are facing a lot of heat back home. 60% of the respondents in our poll say they would throw out everyone in congress, even the members of congress they like. it is very clear with every passing day there will be consequences for this. it's where we begin tonight with our chief white house correspondent and political director chuck todd . chuck, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. the president met with house republican leaders for an hour tonight. while there is still no deal to raise the debt ceiling, the two sides issued statements hinting they could agree to something soon, at least in time to make sure the country doesn't flirt with default on its bills next week. any temporary debt ceiling fix would last no more than six or eight weeks. speaker john boehner acknowledged it is designed simply to buy time.

>> clearly you could end up back in the same place. we don't want to be there.

>> reporter: while it won't re-open the government the white house signalled potential support for the debt ceiling proposal.

>> the president is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the house. that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option.

>> reporter: senate majority leader harry reid was a bit more skeptical.

>> the house has a unique form of legislating. it's hour by hour.

>> reporter: which brings us back to the government shutdown , something that's rattled the public. in our new nbc news wall street journal poll, 65% believe the shutdown is doing quite a bit of harm to the economy. one in three say it's directly impacted their lives. politically republicans are the losers by a 53-31 margin more folks blame republicans than the president for the shutdown. 70% of respondents think congressional republicans are putting their own political agenda ahead of what's good for the country. 51% say the same thing of president obama . the damage to the gop brand doesn't end there. 53% have a negative view of the party, the worst rating for republicans in this poll's nearly 25-year history. that's giving democrats a boost. they lead the gop by eight points on the question of which party should control congress, the largest lead since 2009 . this swift and resounding public response to the shutdown even shocked pollsters.

>> these were jaw-dropping numbers. you see it once or twice in a lifetime .

>> reporter: once again the only deal being talked about tonight is a temporariry one to raise the debt ceiling. there is no deal on that the and nothing being talked about on re-opening the government soon. of course that's what the public is responding to -- shutdown not debt ceiling.

>> chuck todd on the white house lawn for us tonight. powerful numbers from the poll. chuck, thanks. to show you how closely this is being watched, based on the news of the hint of movement on the debt and the budget wall street went up as a result. the dow jumped up 323 points. nasdaq