If the government is shut down at midnight tonight, the public will mainly direct blame at congressional Republicans.

According to a New CNN/ORC poll, a plurality of Americans would blame Republicans in congress. It found 46 percent would blame the GOP, 36 percent say President Obama would be mostly responsible and another 13 percent would blame both sides equally.

This is bad news for Republicans but it might not be bad enough. The Republican advantage in the House because of gerrymandering is truly incredible. The Republican party doesn’t need to actually beat Democrats to maintain control of the House. They actually won a large majority of seats last year despite losing the congressional popular vote.

Merely bad polling doesn’t really threaten Republican control of the House. They only really need to fear losing the chamber if the polling is terrible. House Republicans can safely ignore the general public on most issues as long as opinion is not overwhelmingly lopsided. It is not a healthy dynamic for a democracy.

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