Poll: Americans oppose shutdown threat, 59-19 percent

September 23, 2013

Another poll shows Americans are strongly opposed to potentially shutting down the government if Congress doesn't defund Obamacare.

The CNBC poll shows 59 percent oppose the idea, compared to 19 percent who would shut down government before funding President Obama's signature health care law.

Among Republicans, more are opposed to a potential government shutdown than support the hard-line stance. While a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week showed 51 percent of Republicans favored a shutdown over funding Obamacare, the CNBC poll shows just 36 percent take that position.

Another 48 percent of Republicans say they would rather fund the health care law than risk a government shutdown.

When you don't include the potential shutdown in the mix, Americans are more supportive of the Defund Obamacare movement. Even then, though, more Americans oppose defunding Obamcare (44 percent) than support defunding it (38 percent).

Among Republicans, 51 support the concept of defunding Obamacare, while 36 percent oppose it.

It's not clear yet whether congressional Republicans will actually risk a shutdown in order to stop the funding of Obamacare, but leaders in the Defund Obamacare movement have pledged not to support any government funding bill that includes money for Obamacare -- a position that suggests an ultimatum.

Despite that position, Defund Obamacare leader Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) assured over the weekend that the government would not be shut down.

"No. We all know that the government is going to be funded. The questions is whether it will be funded with Obamacare or without," Lee said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

The CNBC poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and GOP pollster Bill McInturff.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · September 23, 2013