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More Americans blame Republicans now than during the ’95 shutdown

A new poll found that 53% of the public has a negative view of the country's Republican leaders.
/ Source: Morning Joe

A new poll found that 53% of the public has a negative view of the country's Republican leaders.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to an unidentified person in his office before a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill on Oct. 9, 2013. (Photo by Susan Walsh/AP)

The Republican Party’s approval rating sunk to another low Thursday as more than half of Americans blame GOP congressional leaders for the government shutdown.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 53% of the public has a negative view of Republicans and criticize them for the current state of the federal government. Seventy percent of people polled believe Republicans are putting politics first, and just 27% said the party has strong leadership. More Americans blame Republicans now than at any time during the last shutdown in 1995.

“You never know how things are going to turn out, but I do know that when politicians or parties dip down into the 20s, it’s a cause for serious concern,” show host Joe Scarborough said Friday. “I just fear that that has for Republicans a long-term, lasting impact.”

Americans rated the Tea Party with a 47%-negative view, followed by President Obama at 41% and Democrats at 40%.

The GOP received its lowest favorable rating –28%– since Gallup began surveying the country’s approval in 1992, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Republicans have been questioning the party’s strategy during the weeks after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz staged a faux-filibuster to the implementation of Obamacare for more than 21 hours at the end of September.

“These are the generals who lead people into the Battle of Little Bighorn and then go home and have lunch and leave the troops out there,” syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Thursday.

Thirty-six percent of Americans now have an unfavorable opinion of Cruz, compared to 18% in June, according to a new Gallup poll. Despite 26% of the public currently supporting the senator, his net favorability rating is down 16 points from four months ago. In addition, his defund Obamacara partner, Sen. Mike Lee, saw a 20-point negative swing in favorability from his home state of Utah.

“John Boehner and Ted Cruz have successfully done what Newt Gingrich couldn’t do: Get a majority of the country to blame the Republicans rather than a plurality. Get 40% of Republicans to blame Republicans saying Republicans are picking politics over the good of the country,” Chuck Todd, NBC News political director, said on the show.

The past week’s polls reflected the damaging effect the government shutdown is having on Congress and both political parties, most notably the Republicans. For the first time since 2008, the economy wasn’t the main concern for American voters. A Gallup poll indicated that 33% of citizens are more worried about the government shutdown than the economy, which received 19% on Wednesday.

In addition, just 5% of Americans said they support Congress’ latest decisions, compared to 10% who approved of the government hours before the shutdown began last week.

The Democratic Party also faced a decrease in support from voters, with 43% of the country favoring their party, a rate that is down four points since last month.

In turn, 53% of the people surveyed disapprove of Obama’s job dealing with the shutdown.

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