Post-shutdown polls are coming in and they are brutal:
* Dems lead in the generic ballot matchup by 49-38. Among independents — a key midterm constituency — those numbers are 46-35.
* Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the federal budget, versus 77 percent who disapprove. Among independents: 20-78. Among moderates: 14-85. Among seniors: 18-79. Fewer than one in three regard the GOP favorably.
* Only 20 percent think Republicans are “interested in doing what’s best for the country,” while 77 percent think they’re “interested in what’s best for themselves politically.” Among independents: 14-83. Among moderates: 18-81. Among seniors: 24-74.
* Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown by 53-29; moderates by 60-24; indys by 49-29; and seniors by 46-35.
Crucially, large majorities think the shutdown damaged the country. Eighty six percent say it has damaged the U.S.’s image in the world, and 80 percent say it damaged the U.S. economy.
Will all this change by the time of elections? Many say yes. And perhaps that is true. But coming up from a disadvantaged position is worse than coming from an advantaged one, and this is bad news for the GOP.
Check out these numbers from the latest ABC/Washington Post poll (Sep. 15 results) on what Republicans did to themselves during their government shutdown:
Barack Obama, net approval: -1 (0)
Republican Party, net favorability: -31 (-14)
Tea Party, net favorability: -33 (-14)
So while Democrats and President Obama saw their net ratings drop by 10 and 1 points, respectively, Republicans and tea partiers saw their ratings drop by 17 and 19 points, respectively.