(A protesters holds up a placard during a rally to end the government shutdown, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Luis M. Alvarez))

New poll: Republicans slammed over shutdown as pressure increases to end impasse

The Tea Party and the Republicans might have wanted to make an ideological point with the shutdown – but the public is not going along with it, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

A majority of Americans are blaming the Republicans for the shutdown, and the GOP’s favorability has declined to its lowest level since the polls were taken.

Just 24 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of the Republican party, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, all-time lows in the history of the poll, according to NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray.

The public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama by 53 to 31 percent – a 22 point difference.

And with one year to the 2014 midterm elections, voters say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican one by 47 percent to 39 percent, an eight point advantage for the Democrats.

RELATED: Thousands of furloughed workers wait anxiously for what’s next

And while Tea Party Republicans like Texas Senator Ted Cruz have encouraged and supported the shutdown primarily in opposition to the health care law, the poll found a “boomerang effect” – the Affordable Care Act is gaining support among voters.

Thirty-eight percent of those polled say Obamacare is a good idea, up from 31 percent last month.  Forty three percent of voters see Obamacare as a bad idea; it was 44 percent last month.

Moreover, half of Americans are against eliminating funding for the law, even if it that means a partial shutdown of the government.  This is up from 46 percent in September.

Emily Benavides, communications director for the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right organization, says Republicans want to negotiate in good faith, and they have passed multiple bills to fund critical services which had been affected by the shutdown.

“Republicans are open to making changes to a deeply flawed health care law; they’re trying to negotiate and Democrats are not coming to the table.  I think it’s clear from the launch of the healthcare exchanges that the Administration wasn’t ready , and they refused a one-year delay for clearly partisan reasons,” Benavides adds.

When asked whether more mainstream Republicans are paying a price – as evidenced by the poll – for the actions of Tea Party conservative Republicans, Benavides says that “at the end of the day, you can’t deny these people were elected – you have to respect them for representing the values of their constituents, and it’s about reflecting thos who have elected you.”

As of Friday morning, there were more signs of possible negotiations between House Republicans and the Administration.

This comes at a time of increased pressure to end the shutdown.  On Thursday Latino groups, under the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), held a press conference to call for an end to the shutdown, saying this was hurting Latino families still trying to recover from the Great Recession.

“First, House Republican leadership should allow members of Congress to vote on a clean funding bill to reopen the federal government.  Second, both parties should work together to replace the sequester with investments in education, job training and other programs that provide opportunity and put our economy on a solid path toward growth well into the future,” said Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director of the League for United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and NHLA Vice Chair.

“We need to bring the government back to business,” said Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to NBC Latino.

Miranda explained that a continued shutdown as well as sequestration and cuts in funding have had a direct impact on Latino families.  Thirty seven percent of children in Head Start programs are Latino.  In addition, 42 percent of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program participants are Hispanic.

Sequestration, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), would reduce job creation by 1.8 million, Miranda added.

“In polls taken around the 2012 election, 85 percent of Latinos support a solution to the budget that is balanced – mixing revenue (taxes) with cuts – it just can’t be cuts,” she added.

As to whether there will be a breakthrough in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, Hispanic Leadership Network’s Emily Benavides says she is optimistic.

“I know we’re definitely willing to come to the table,” said the Latina Republican.  “It’s about the other side meeting us to negotiate.”

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