Disapproval of Republicans grew from 63 percent immediately before the shutdown to 70 percent during its first week and 74 percent the following week. Congressional Democrats and President Obama started off with lower negative ratings, and they increased less during that same period. By mid-October, disapproval of Republicans was 13 percentage points higher than Democrats and 21 points higher than Obama.
After the shutdown, a separate Post-ABC poll found 53 percent saying that Republicans in Congress were mainly responsible for it, compared with 29 percent who blamed Obama. The results were almost identical to a Post-ABC poll following the 1995-96 partial government shutdown, which found the public blaming Republicans more than President Bill Clinton by a margin of 50 percent to 27 percent.
In short, Republicans should listen to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- as paraphrased in the New York Times this week. "Only Republicans, he said, would be blamed for a shutdown, just as they were last year." If past is prologue, Boehner is 100 percent right.
Peyton M. Craighill contributed to this report.