Another U.S. Government Shutdown is Likely: Poll

While his overall approval ratings may be inching downward, on the economy President Obama’s job approval ratings are holding steady.

But, since that steady is having three in ten Americans (30%) give President Obama positive ratings for his handling of the economy while 70% give him negative marks, which is unchanged from last month, the White House may not be all that happy with this.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,250 adults surveyed online in the United States between Nov. 13 and 18, 2013 by Harris Interactive. The results were released today, Nov. 26.

Where there is a little bit of good news is how Americans feel about the overall economy and their own financial conditions. One-quarter of U.S. adults (25%) believe the economy will improve in the coming year, while 44% say it will stay the same and 32% say it will get worse.

Last month, as the nation was coming out of the government shutdown, 22% believed the economy would improve, 37% said it would stay the same and 41% believed it would get worse.

Looking at individual households, half of Americans (50%) believe their household’s financial condition will stay the same over the next six months, while 20% say it will get better and 30% believe it will be worse.

Last month, while about half (48%) said it would stay the same, over one-third (34%) said their household finances would get worse and 18% believed it would be better in the next six months.

The government shutdown may be a memory, but is it also a precursor of things to come? Since the government is only funded until January 15, 2014, there is a chance for another shutdown, and seven in ten Americans (70%) believe it is likely that the government will shut down again in January while just one in five (21%) believe it is unlikely to shut down.

Republicans are more likely than both Democrats and Independents to say it is likely there will be a shutdown in January (79% versus 64% and 67%, respectively).

Besides the government shutdown, there was also the corresponding fight over raising the debt ceiling, which has now been raised, but will be reached again in February. Thinking about raising the debt ceiling, half of Americans (50%) do not believe it should be raised anymore, while one-quarter believe it needs to be raised again (26%) and 24% are not at all sure.

There is a huge partisan difference here, as 72% of Republicans believe the debt ceiling should not be raised compared to one-third (32%) of Democrats; over half of Independents (55%) also believe the debt ceiling should not be raised.

But, while another government shutdown appears likely to Americans, defaulting does not. Almost half of Americans (46%) say it is not likely that the government will default and not raise the debt ceiling, while one-third (35%) say it is likely the U.S. will default; one in five (19%) are not at all sure.

Photo courtesy: White House /

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Rakesh Raman