Since last September, the Republican Party’s favorable rating has dropped 8 points, from 45 to 37 percent. Democratic Party approvals, during the same period, have remained steady at 45 percent. GOP approvals didn’t suffer as much this shutdown as they did during the 2013 shutdown, when their favorable rating dropped to just 28 percent. But notably, the Democratic Party didn’t suffer any negative effects this time around while its approvals did dip slightly in 2013 from 47 to 43 percent, even though the public largely pinned the blame for the 2013 shutdown on Republicans.
The GOP’s largest slippage came among independents, whose favorables for the party dropped 12 points, from 41 to 29 percent. Furthermore, the public currently approves of the performance of congressional Democrats more than that of congressional Republicans, 38-31 percent.
Gallup writes: “Democrats’ more positive approval and favorable ratings likely relate to a separate finding in the poll, showing that Americans’ believe the Democratic leaders in Congress acted more responsibly than did President Donald Trump, by 50% to 39%.”
The polar opposite was true in the last two longest shutdowns, in 2013 and 1995-96. In those cases, Americans thought the Democratic president in power handled the shutdown more responsibly than the congressional Republicans. In other words, in each of the nation’s three longest shutdowns, the American public believes Democrats have always acted more responsibly than Republicans.
Gallup surveyed respondents from Jan. 21-27, with most of the interviews completed by the time the shutdown ended on the Jan. 25.