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By Rick Holmes
Oct. 11, 2013 11:16 a.m.



Today’s NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll confirms what most insiders were predicting a month ago: The government shutdown has been a disaster for Republicans and the tea party, and given Democrats and Obamacare a boost. Details are here. Here’s how NBC put it:

“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.

“And one year until next fall’s midterm elections, American voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled one by eight percentage points (47 percent to 39 percent), up from the Democrats’ three-point advantage last month (46 percent to 43 percent).

“What’s more, Obama’s political standing has remained relatively stable since the shutdown, with his approval rating ticking up two points since last month, and with the Democratic Party’s favorability rating declining just three points (from 42 percent to 39 percent).”

What’s even more striking is what the pollsters are calling a “boomerang effect”: Obamacare is more popular than before the shutdown, with 38 percent saying it’s a good idea, up from 31 percent; 50 percent oppose defunding it, up from 46 percent a month ago. And, despite all the generalized disgust about Washington, government has gained: “By a 52-percent-to-44 percent difference, respondents believe the government should do more to solve problems. Back in June, the public was split, 48 percent to 48 percent, on whether the government should do more or less.”

Other polls out today show serious damage to the approval ratings of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Non-tea party Republicans are about to take the steering wheel back from the wacko birds, but huge damage has been done to their party.

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