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Poll: 72 percent oppose Congress’ shutdown of government

American voters oppose 72-22 percent Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a ne Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters also oppose 64-27 percent blocking an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling as a way to stop Obamacare, the independent poll finds.

On the health care act, voters are divided –45 percent in favor, 47 percent opposed, but they are opposed 58-34 percent to Congress cutting off funding for the law to stop its implementation.

Republicans support the federal government shutdown by a narrow 49-44 percent margin, but opposition is 90-6 percent among Democrats and 74-19 percent among the independent voters.

The poll shows President Barack Obama with a negative job approval rating – 45 percent to 49 percent, similar to percentages in August.

But American voters disapprove 74-17 percent of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, their lowest score ever. Voters also disapprove of the job Democrats in Congress are doing – 60-32 percent.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter A. Brown said, “Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by Congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it’s worth closing down the government to stop it.”

He added, “President Barack Obama enters this standoff over the budget with an edge over Congressional Republicans in the voters’ eyes.”

American voters trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress on a number of issues:

• 63-26 percent on helping low income families;

• 51-38 percent on helping the middle class;

• 47-38 percent on handling health care;

• 47-42 percent on handling the economy.

“On almost all questions, voters see President Obama as more reasonable, and better able to handle the issues,” Brown said. “But it is not because the president is beloved. He remains under water in job approval and is tied with congressional Republicans on who best handles the budget deficit. Voters are angry at almost everyone in Washington over their inability to keep the trains running, but they are madder at the Republicans than the Democrats.”

About 55 percent of voters say gridlock in Washington is mainly because Republicans are determined to block any Obama initiative. About 33 percent said the blame belongs to Obama for lack of skill.

But on another question about gridlock, about 58 percent said Democrats and Republicans share the blame.

The poll was conducted Sept. 23-29, as the shutdown loomed.

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