Most Americans think a government shutdown would hurt both the economy and their own families, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. But most also think that Congress and President Barack Obama will reach a deal to avoid one before the looming budget deadline at the end of the month.
Sixty percent of respondents said that they think a shutdown would hurt the economy, including 44 percent who said they think it would hurt a lot. Nineteen percent, meanwhile, said it would make no difference, while 11 percent think a shutdown would actually help the economy.
Fifty percent of Americans, meanwhile, said that the government shutting down would hurt them and their families, including 28 percent who said it would hurt them a lot. Seven percent said it would help them, and 33 percent said it would make no difference.
Although Americans may fear the consequences of a shutdown, few think one will actually happen. By a 55 percent to 18 percent margin, most respondents to the new poll said that they think Obama and Congress will reach a deal to avoid a shutdown. Another 27 percent aren't sure.
Events this week have shown little sign that Democrats and Republicans are headed toward compromise. The House of Representatives passed a temporary funding bill Friday that would avoid a shutdown only in the unlikely event that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate agree to defund Obama's signature health care law.
If the government does shut down, Americans think by a 51 percent to 33 percent margin that Republicans, not Obama, would be responsible, a recent CNN survey found.
Still, most Americans aren't paying close attention to the issue. The new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds only 35 percent of respondents said they've heard a lot about the possibility of a shutdown. Forty percent have heard a little, and 24 percent have heard nothing at all.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Sept. 18-19 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.