Shutdown could help Democrats retake House majority, poll suggests

By Travis Gettys
Monday, October 7, 2013 9:32 EDT
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Federal workers demonstrate against the government shutdown in front of the US Capitol (AFP)
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A recent poll suggests the government shutdown could help Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.

The liberal MoveOn.org Political Action group commissioned the polls conducted by Public Policy Polling, which surveyed hundreds of registered voters last week in 24 mostly competitive congressional districts across the country.

“Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of the House. These poll results make clear that if the election were held today, such a pickup would be well within reach,” said pollster Jim Williams. “The surveys challenge the conventional wisdom that gerrymandering has put the House out of reach for Democrats.”

This poll found limited support for the House Republican plan to shut down the federal government or hold up an increase of the debt ceiling as a means of stopping implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The poll found a Republican incumbent trailing a generic Democrat in 17 of the districts, and most of the incumbents’ approval ratings were negative.

The congressional election is 13 months away.

Other recent polls suggest Americans are more likely to blame Republicans for the government shutdown, although many also say President Barack Obama and Democrats are also responsible for the legislative impasse.

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