Federal Government Shutdown – There is Plenty of Anger to Go Around

The shutdown of the federal government is taking its toll….and we’re not talking just about the 800,000 federal employees who have now been out of work for more than one week.   People are angry. In our latest CNN|ORC International Poll almost two-thirds (63%) of Americans polled say they are angry at the Republicans for the way they have handled the shutdown. Before anyone points a finger, however, there is more than enough anger to go around. Almost six-in-ten (57%) of those polled are angry at the way the Democrats have handled the shutdown and more than half (53%) say they are angry at President Obama for the way he has handled the shutdown. The game is a tie with everyone losing.

The anger is largely Republicans blaming Democrats, Democrats blaming Republicans, and Independents blaming everyone. Everyone has their heels dug in with many taking to the social universe to express their opinions. The combination of words “government” and “shutdown” are mentioned an average of every 0.13 seconds – that is a lot of chatter – and it’s in the many multi-millions of posts with negative trending sentiment. There is just nothing to cheer about. Needless to say, opinion is split in social space as well – sentiment of those posting comments runs 40% negative, 44% positive and 16% neutral.


However, the longer this goes on, the more negative sentiment is likely going to become. Why? Because more than two-thirds (67%) view the shutdown as a major problem or crisis. In fact, today there is a higher level of concern than a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll taken in November of 1995 – the last time a government shutdown occurred. Back then, while more than half (51%) said the shutdown was a crisis or major problem, this was still 16 percentage points lower than the response to the same question today. This may well be reflective of the general frustration Americans vent toward Washington. In our CNN|ORC International Poll from late September, only 10% of the American public approved of the way Congress is handling its job – an all-time low for any CNN Poll.

Not to get mired in negativity, the internet can also be a source for suggestions. One post suggested that perhaps the Apple Store can fix the shutdown. Better get in line as the wait in an Apple Store can be pretty long without an appointment. If you are a stink bug, the news is also good – the shutdown has apparently halted the Great Stink Bug Count by the U.S. Agricultural Department. I’m sure the stink bug population found this intrusive and is now greatly relieved.

For the complete story, see a blog post by CNN’s Paul Steinhauser Political Ticker – October 7

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Categories: CARAVAN, Politics


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