Poll: GOP Better at Managing Government, Dealing with Economy

Matt Vespa
By Matt Vespa | October 18, 2013 | 3:30 PM EDT

With the shutdown over and the blame game in full swing, it's surprising to find that more Americans trust Republicans with managing the federal government and the economy than they do Democrats.  And, while the favorability rating of "Republicans" is up, that of Republican "leaders" is down.

In Pew's October 9-13 poll, 38% had a favorable view of the GOP, which is up five points from July.  But, in the past month, the favorability of Republican leaders fell from 24% to 20%, mostly due to drops among Democrat and Independent respondents. Granted, 58% still hold a negative view of the Republican Party.

But, at the same time, Republicans are more trusted with running the government; 42% of Americans say the GOP can better manage the government, compared to 39% who think Democrats can do better.

On handling the economy, the results are nearly the same: 44% want the GOP to take the reins compared to 37% who still think Democrats would do better.

And, when it comes to the Tea Party, 46% of Americans have no opinion of them either way; 32% went on the record to say they oppose them outright.

In a way, one could argue that any anger towards Congress was already present, and the so-called hatred towards the Tea Party is muted at best.

So, remember that little freak out that some on the right believed concerning Obamacare and the government shutdown? The new health care law's approval rating jumped seven points from 31% to 38%, the public's preference for a Republican congress dipped below 40% for the first time in four years, and the GOP's approval rating reached an all-time low.  Yet, everything has rebounded.

As Allahpundit at Hot Air noted, even after the '96 shutdown, both then-Speaker Gingrich and President Clinton's approval numbers quickly returned to pre-shutdown levels.  As for the disapproval numbers, there's no doubt that conservative voters, who are angry with establishment Republicans, contributed to those miserable numbers.