Fox News poll: Blame for shutdown spread equally, ObamaCare still unpopular

Though his approval rating is still underwater, President Barack Obama has seen his numbers jump slightly since early last month, according to a wide-ranging poll released on Friday by Fox News. But ObamaCare remains unpopular and blame for the government shutdown is spread around evenly.

The poll found that President Obama’s approval rating now stands at 45%, while 49% disapprove of his job performance. That’s up from 40/54 in September. Congress, on the other hand, saw its approval rating fall, from an already abysmal 17/75 last month to 13/81 in October.

President Obama’s approval ratings on key issues have increased slightly. He sees a 7-point jump on healthcare, from 38/58 in September to 45/51 in October. His approval rating on the economy didn’t see as high of a jump, but it did increase slightly from a tepid 37/60 last month to 40/56 this month.

The uptick in President Obama’s numbers can probably be attributed to the government shutdown. To this point, the White House has been more effective in their messaging to the American public than congressional Republicans, who face hurdle due to the media’s general deference to President Obama. It is important to note, however, that his approval ratings are still underwater across the board, and has been underwater since almost mid-July.

But when it comes to President Obama’s signature law, the Affordable Care Act (or “ObamaCare,” as we’ve come to know it), Americans’ still aren’t fans and would like to see changes.

Only 26% of voters want to leave the ObamaCare as it is, while a total of 54% want the law repealed entirely (30%) or at least parts of it repealed (24%). The numbers who want to repeal parts or the entire law have fluctuated over time, a solid majority has consistently responded that they want changes made.

Fifty-two percent (52%) said that they want to go back to the pre-ObamaCare healthcare system, while 36% prefer ObamaCare. Amid reports of glitches and problems with the law’s exchange websites, 57% think that the implementation of ObamaCare should be delayed for a year. Just 39% believe the law should be implemented on schedule.

Voters are split on congressional Republicans’ efforts to defund ObamaCare, with 46% calling it an important effort and the same number saying that it’s a waste of time.

One thing is clear, however, voters aren’t too happy about the federal government shutdown. Eighty-one (81%) say that it’s a very or somewhat serious problem. Just 17% say it’s not serious. Only 30% believe that the government shutdown could be a good thing, while 67% believe it’s a bad thing.

Blame for the shutdown, however, is spread evenly as 25% blame Republican leaders while 24% hold President Obama responsible. Seventeen percent (17%) blame Tea Party Republicans. Democratic leaders don’t get blamed much at all, with just 8% of voters holding them responsible. Twenty percent (20%) say all sides are to blame.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the poll is that voters believe that they’ve lost control of their government. Just 8% of voters believe the people are in charge of the government. An eye-popping 88% believe that the government is in charge of the people.

The poll of 952 registered voters was conducted between October 1-2. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 points. It was conducted by Fox News along with Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). Some questions only measured the opinions of likely voters.


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