Daniel Doherty

If, as expected, the government shuts down tomorrow who do you think most Americans will blame? Well, if you guessed congressional Republicans, you’d be exactly right:

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult. …

According to the poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday, 46% say they would blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible and 13% pointing fingers at both the GOP in Congress and Obama.

"The number who would hold congressional Republicans responsible has gone down by 5 points since early September, and the number who would blame Obama is up 3 points in that same time," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Those changes came among most demographic groups."

The CNN poll is similar to a CBS News/New York Times survey released late last week that indicated 44% blaming congressional Republicans and 35% pointing fingers at the president. Two other polls conducted in the past week and a half, from Pew Research Center and United Technologies/National Journal, showed a much closer margin but their questions mentioned Republicans in general rather than the GOP in Congress.

While most Democrats questioned in the CNN poll would predictably blame congressional Republicans and most Republicans questioned would point fingers at the president, independents were divided on which side they would blame.

In a separate question, 49% of all people in the poll say that Obama is acting like a responsible adult in this budget battle, with 47% describing him as a spoiled child. While that's nothing to brag about, it's better than Congress.

Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, every day the government isn’t open for business American taxpayers could cough up as much as $200,000 million. Now, of course, in an age of trillion dollar-plus deficits that might not seem like a ton of money, but it’s not exactly chump change either.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography