The brutal government shutdown poll the GOP didn’t want to see

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 The brutal government shutdown poll the GOP didn’t want to see

 It’s official: The shutdown is destroying the Republican Party brand

By Ryu Spaeth | October 10, 2013
 Those frowns are not going to turn upside down any time soon.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday evening paints a bleak picture for the Republican Party: Americans blame the GOP for the government shutdown by a wide, 22-point margin over President Obama.

To rub salt in the wound, a measly 24 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the GOP — a historic low for the NBC/WSJ poll. Continue reading “The brutal government shutdown poll the GOP didn’t want to see”

How Congress has already failed on the fiscal cliff

How Congress has already failed on the fiscal cliff

Posted by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake on December 31, 2012 at 6:30 am

The fiscal cliff cometh. And, whether or not the House and Senate — with an assist from the White House — figure out some sort of stopgap(ish) way to avert going over the edge, one lesson is already crystal clear: Congress has failed.

Don’t believe us? Consider the following:

* Both sides put off any discussion of addressing the country’s looming financial crisis until after the 2012 election, which was cast as the peoples’ chance to let their voices be heard as to what direction they wanted their politicians to head. President Obama won with 332 electoral votes, Democrats surprisingly kept the Senate and not so surprisingly picked up a handful of seats in the House. And yet, here we are.

* Given that the country is headed over the cliff in a day or so — triggering a series of automatic cuts across the government — the logistical and political hurdles to any sort of grand bargain to address the country’s long-term debt and spending issues are insurmountably high. That means that any deal will be decidedly narrow in nature in order to pass it through the political and legislative gantlet that is a narrowly Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House. And if Congress can’t even find common ground on a small-bore deal, what does that say about its chances of cutting a big deal down the line?

* We’ve been here before. This will be the second time in less than 18 months that Congress — and specifically House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) — tried to find a way to solve the “big” problem of the country’s growing debt burden. And even if a deal is made, it will be the second time (the debt ceiling was the first) that will ultimately be defined not by whether a deal is made or even what the deal looks like but rather by the legislative ugliness — there is no kinder word — that led to the “compromise.”

Seen through that lens, what happens between now and when the clock strikes midnight tonight won’t really matter all that much. The die is cast. For the average person, Congress’s using every second — literally — of its allotted time (and maybe more than its allotted time) to find a deal will be chalked up as another in a series of failures by Washington.

And if the fallout for Congress is anything like what we saw in the wake of the debt-ceiling debacle, you can expect what has already been a dismal run in terms of the institution’s political popularity to get even worse.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) hit it on the head Sunday when he took to the Senate floor to lambaste his colleagues for their failure to act. “It is absolutely inexcusable that all of us find ourselves in this place at this time … with no plan and no apparent hope,” said Manchin.

No matter what happens in these final hours, Manchin’s sentiment seems certain to mirror the American public’s view of Congress and the fiscal cliff. Failure seems not to be an option but the only one.

Obama says tax cuts will get done — sooner or later: During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Obama said he is “confident” that Congress will renew tax cuts for the middle class, whether in this Congress or when the new one begins in the coming weeks.

“One way or another, we’ll get through this,” Obama said. “Do I wish that things were more orderly in Washington and rational and people listened to the best arguments and compromised and operated in a more thoughtful and organized fashion? Absolutely.  But when you look at history, that’s been the exception rather than the norm.”

Obama also touched on a number of other issues during the appearance, including Benghazi, which he called a “huge problem.” He also said gun control is “not something I will be putting off” and that he’s skeptical of the NRA’s proposal to put armed guards in schools.

NBC/WSJ poll: Obama leads Romney nationally by 5 points

NBC/WSJ poll: Obama leads Romney nationally by 5 points

According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, President Obama had a five-point lead when survey participants were asked who they would vote for, and 42 percent of those surveyed believe the economy will get better under Obama. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

By Mark Murray, NBC News Senior Political Editor

Fueled by increased optimism about the economy and nation’s direction, President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by 5 points among likely voters and now sees his job-approval rating reaching the 50 percent threshold for the first time since March, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The survey – which was conducted after the two party conventions and the political firestorm over last week’s U.S. Embassy attacks, but before Romney’s controversial comments about the 47 percent of the country “who are dependent on government” – shows the percentages believing that the country is headed in the right direction and thinking that the economy will improve at their highest levels since 2009. Continue reading “NBC/WSJ poll: Obama leads Romney nationally by 5 points”