A new poll conducted by The Washington Post finds that Americans are ready to blame Republicans and Democrats in nearly equal proportions if that government shutdown happens later this month. According to the Post, 36 percent of those polled would blame Republicans for a shutdown, while 35 percent would blame the Obama administration. Ten percent say they'd blame neither, while 17 percent would blame both.
Other takeaways from the poll: A majority say both sides consider the budget negotiations primarily partisan posturing rather than an effort to solve fiscal problems, though Obama fares slightly better than Republicans on the intellectual honesty count. Of those surveyed, 59 percent think Republicans are just playing politics with the budget, while 33 percent believe the GOP is making an honest effort to resolve the crisis. For Obama, 50 percent of those polled believe he's playing politics, while 43 percent think he's operating in good faith.
Breaking down the poll numbers by party doesn't offer many surprises. The Post reports that "about three-quarters of conservative Republicans fault Obama; a similar proportion of liberal Democrats blame the GOP." It may be worth noting that "independents tilt marginally toward blaming Obama, 37 to 32 percent."
All of this may well be moot, since a shutdown doesn't look super likely anyway. The Post notes that if the poll numbers are any indication, "neither side would likely have much to gain politically in the near term from allowing the government to close." Plus there's the rest of the country--remember them?--who probably wouldn't gain much from a government shutdown either.