Ted Cruz argues GOP is winning the shutdown fight

The Texas senator offers a curious reading of a poll he paid for himself

Topics: Ted Cruz, poll, GOP Civil War, Government shutdown, GOP, Republican Party,

Ted Cruz argues GOP is winning the shutdown fightTed Cruz (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

According to the Washington Examiner, Ted Cruz held a closed-door lunch meeting on Wednesday during which he claimed that his plan to defund Obamacare through a government shutdown had placed the GOP in a politically advantageous position.

Citing the results of a poll he paid for himself, Cruz argued that Republicans were in better shape, politically, than they were in 1995, the last time the government shut down. Cruz’s case rested on the fact that respondents to his poll overwhelmingly identified disagreement over Obamacare — and not government spending — as the reason for the shutdown. How, exactly, this proves Republicans are winning the shutdown fight is a question the report leaves unanswered.

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A copy of Cruz’ poll was obtained by the Washington Examiner. The national survey of 815 likely voters was conducted last week immediately after the government shut down. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Among its findings:

– Obama’s job approval rating was 45 percent; his disapproval was 52 percent.

– 67 percent said Obamacare was the “major reason” for the government shutdown.

– By a margin of 46 percent to 39 percent, voters blamed Republicans for the shutdown over “Obama and Democrats.” Another 19 percent blamed both sides equally.

– By a margin of 42 percent to 36 percent, independent voters blamed Republicans for the shutdown over Obama and the Democrats.

– In November 1995, 51 percent of voters blamed Republicans for the shutdown; only 28 percent blamed then-President Clinton.

Elias Isquith
Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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