Americans Give Everyone Negative Marks For The Government Shutdown

More than a week into the partial government shutdown, Americans continue to generally disapprove of how it’s been handled by everyone involved, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. 

Just 18 percent of Americans polled say they approve of how Congress has handled the shutdown, with 60 percent disapproving. Also in the negative are congressional Republicans (25 percent approve of how they’ve handled it, 58 percent disapprove); congressional Democrats (33 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove); President Donald Trump (38 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove); and respondents’ own congressional representatives (33 percent approve, 41 percent disapprove).

For all but Trump, there’s been a downward movement in ratings since a poll from the start of the shutdown, although in some cases, the change is modest enough to make it unclear whether it reflects a genuine shift in opinion or the kind of fluctuation inherent to surveys.

Another metric also shows little change: Sixty-two percent of Americans now say the partial shutdown is at least somewhat serious, and one-third that it’s a very serious problem. At the beginning of the shutdown, 61 percent considered it at least somewhat serious, and 29 percent said it was very serious. 


A 51 percent majority of Americans now say Trump deserves at least some responsibility for the shutdown, with 44 percent saying Democrats in Congress bear some responsibility, and 36 percent saying that Republicans in Congress do.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll didn’t ask whom Americans consider most responsible. But a Reuters/Ipsos survey conducted just before Christmas found that 47 percent of Americans considered Trump most blame-worthy, with 33 percent laying the bulk of responsibility on congressional Democrats and 7 percent pinning it on congressional Republicans. Another survey from Morning Consult bore similar results, with 43 percent of voters saying Trump was most to blame, 31 percent pointing the finger at Democrats in Congress, and 7 percent naming the congressional GOP.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 28-30 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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