There are sharp partisan differences over the impact of a possible government shutdown on the economy. One divide is between the parties: 71% of Democrats say a government shutdown would have a major effect on the economy, but only 51% of Republicans agree. Among the overall public, 61% predict a shutdown will have a major impact while 30% say the effect will be minor.
Tea Party Republicans, who pressed House Speaker John Boehner to take a hard line on the party’s budget stance, are far less likely than non-Tea Party Republicans to see dire economic consequences if a government shutdown results from an impasse. A Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 19-22 found that 39% of Tea Partiers believe a shutdown would have a major effect on the economy compared to 60% of non-Tea Party Republicans — a difference of 21 percentage points.
Tea Party Republicans are also far more likely than non-Tea party Republicans to say lawmakers should stand by their principles even if it means a government shutdown. About seven-in-ten (71%) Tea Partiers holds that view compared with 38% of non-Tea Party Republicans. (Over half — 54% — of non-Tea Party Republicans say lawmakers should be willing to compromise even if it’s on a budget they don’t agree with.
Nearly nine-in-ten (87%) Tea Party Republicans favor the House GOP budget bill that would defund the health care law, compared to 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans.