IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First Read Flash: Republican rock bottom?

The GOP has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. A majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and the party’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

The GOP has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. A majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and the party’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level.

NBC’s Mark Murray: “The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level. By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96. Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of poll.”

New York Times:  President Obama and House Republicans failed to reach agreement on a six-week extension of the nation’s borrowing authority during a meeting Thursday at the White House, but the two sides kept talking, and the offer from politically besieged Republicans was seen as an initial step toward ending the budget standoff. In statements afterward that struck the most positive tone in weeks of acrimony, House Republicans described their hour-and-a-half-long meeting with Mr. Obama as ‘a useful and productive conversation,’ while the White House described ‘a good meeting,’ though ‘no specific determination was made’ about the Republicans’ offer.”

NBC’s Carrie Dann: “The government shutdown isn’t over, but an end to the stubborn fiscal impasse could finally be in sight. House GOP and White House negotiators worked behind closed doors late Thursday to try to hammer out a deal that could potentially reopen the government in the coming days and delay an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit. The midnight-oil talks – held primarily at the staff level – were the most serious negotiations since government funding ran out on Oct. 1, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and many more facing the possibility of delayed paychecks.”

Roll Call: “A growing chorus of Republican senators support reopening the government either as part of or before any agreement to raise the debt limit, despite a House GOP plan to keep the government shuttered while taking the risk of default off the table. A significant number of GOP senators dismissed the House Republicans’ proposal either as short-sighted or out of touch with the political and economic realities of the shutdown. And at least one member of the GOP Conference said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is still active in leading conversations to resolve the current standoff, “

Politico: “A large group of Senate Republicans is approaching influential Senate Democrats in an attempt to find a bipartisan, longer-term solution to the shutdown and debt ceiling logjam. The Republicans are floating various proposals based off the rough framework provided by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) earlier this week. The discussions were described as “free-flowing,” by one source familiar with them, and include senators on a wide ideological spectrum.”

The NRSC will send out releases today hitting Senate Democrats for refusing to pass “other bipartisan funding bills that the House passed to fund critical portions of the government during the shutdown.” From one release hitting Michigan Democrats: “Gary Peters voted for many of these bipartisan House bills to fund veterans’ and other critical programs like Head Start funding for children in need, but how can he defend Harry Reid preventing the Senate from even considering these measures?” asked NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. Full list of releases: Alaska’s Mark Begich, Iowa’s Bruce Braley, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Minnesota’s Al Franken, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, Michigan’s Gary Peters, Arkansas’ Mark Pryor, New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, and Colorado’s Mark Udall.

MBNBC’s Suzy Khimm & NBC’s Jessica Taylor look at how Collins & other GOP women have been leading the charge in negotiations. “While male leaders of both parties have barely been speaking to each other, much less negotiating, Republican women have never stopped talking to their Democratic counterparts in the Senate.”

Los Angeles Times: “Republicans striving to mend relations with the Latino voters who have largely shunned their party announced a $10-million initiative Thursday to make electoral inroads among this crucial group across the nation. Engaging Latino voters has been a constant effort for Republicans in recent years, as the population has grown to the point it can tilt races in critical states. But party leaders say the new initiative, which will include a paid staff and year-round voter targeting in California and 16 other states, is more meaningful than past attempts.”

National Journal’s Beth Reinhard: “Republican governors with an eye on 2016 have been downright indignant about the federal-government shutdown…..But these same politicians played a role in creating a gridlocked Washington by helping to elect the very tea-party hardliners who refuse to fund the government unless the health care law is delayed. While these governors build national profiles by casting themselves as problem-solving chief executives, the increasingly unpopular capital serves as a convenient foil—despite their personal ties to some of the ringleaders of the shutdown.”

LOUISIANA: Roll Call: “Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is considering a bid in Louisiana’s open 6th District, he confirmed through a spokesman to CQ Roll Call on Thursday. Perkins, a former state legislator and fervent opponent to same-sex marriage, would be running to succeed GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy. Cassidy is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in 2014.”

NEW JERSEY: Newark Star-Ledger: “A state Superior Court judge Thursday refused to delay the Oct. 21 start date she set to begin same-sex marriages in New Jersey, rejecting the Christie administration’s contention that no gay weddings should be peformed while the case is still being fought in the courts.”

NBC’s Domenico Montanaro: “The overwhelming majority of congressional districts with a significant number of federal workers and federal retirees are represented by Democrats, according to a First Read analysis. In fact, 80 percent – 40 of the top 50 – of these districts have Democratic members of Congress, partially explaining why Republicans in the House have been reluctant to budge on re-opening the government without concessions from President Obama on his health-care law.”

VIRGINIA: Norfolk Virginian Pilot: “The third man in the race for governor, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, won’t be part of the final debate between the leading candidates vying to be Virginia’s next leader. Roanoke-area television station WDBJ, which is co-hosting the Oct. 24 event at Virginia Tech, announced Sarvis’s exclusion Thursday, saying he failed to meet the 10 percent polling threshold to qualify.”

Richmond Times Dispatch: “Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder has endorsed his party’s gubernatorial nominee, Terry McAuliffe, after declining to back the Democratic candidate in 2009. ‘The fact that he hasn’t served before is not a reason to reject his candidacy, but more positive,; Wilder said Thursday in a telephone interview. ‘But he has to know he needs to have trained and able minds to assist him.’”

Washington Post: “Ken Cuccinelli II hammered Terry McAuliffe Thursday for investing with a Rhode Island estate planner who prosecutors say preyed on terminally ill people, while McAuliffe accused Cuccinelli of misrepresenting his position on abortion. The bitter rivals in the Virginia governor’s race made back-to-back appearances at the University of Richmond, where each found new ways to attack the other on well-worn themes.”