Home » Most Americans Believe Another Government Shutdown Is Likely

Most Americans Believe Another Government Shutdown Is Likely

While his overall approval ratings may be inching downward, President Obama’s job approval ratings on the economy are holding steady. But “steady” means three in 10 Americans (30 percent) giving the president positive ratings for his handling of the economy; 70 percent still give him negative marks, which is unchanged from last month.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,250 adults surveyed online between Nov. 13 and Nov. 18 by Harris Interactive.

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 percent) believe the economy will improve in the coming year, while 44 percent say it will stay the same and 32 percent say it will get worse. Last month, as the nation was coming out of the government shutdown, 22 percent believed the economy would improve, 37 percent said it would stay the same and 41 percent believed it would get worse.

Looking at individual households, half of Americans (50 percent) believe their household’s financial condition will stay the same over the next six months, while 20 percent say it will get better and 30 percent believe it will be worse. Last month, while about half (48 percent) said it would stay the same, more than one-third (34 percent) said their household finances would get worse and 18 percent believed it would be better in the next six months.

Another shutdown and debt ceiling fight?

The government shutdown may be a memory, but is it also a precursor of things to come? Since the government is only funded until Jan. 15, 2014, there is a chance for another shutdown, and seven in 10 Americans (70 percent) believe it is likely that the government will shut down again in January while just one in five (21 percent) 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 percent vs. 64 percent and 67 percent, respectively).

Besides the government shutdown, there also was 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 percent) do not believe it should be raised any more, while one-quarter believe it needs to be raised again (26 percent) and 24 percent are not at all sure. There is a huge partisan difference here, as 72 percent of Republicans believe the debt ceiling should not be raised compared to one-third (32 percent) of Democrats. More than half of Independents (55 percent) also believe the debt ceiling should not be raised.

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

One concern is that all the uncertainty in Washington, D.C., may have some people rethinking holiday spending and other things. But three in five Americans (59 percent) agree that regardless of what happens in the nation’s capital, their spending habits will not change much over the next few months. Another 34 percent say their spending habits will change. More specifically, just more than half of U.S. adults (53 percent) agree that because of the uncertainty with the federal government they will probably spend less on holiday presents this year and 45 percent say they will be less likely to do any year-end charitable giving because of the potential government shutdown in January. One positive is travel, but it is a small one. While 47 percent of Americans say they are not less likely to plan a vacation away from home in the next few months because of the potential for another government shutdown, 44 percent say they are less likely to plan this vacation.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap