Government Shutdown 2011: GOP Insiders Worried Closure Would Hurt Party, Poll Finds

02/24/2011 10:52 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GOP insiders appear largely convinced that a government shutdown, which is looking increasingly likely after another failed round of spending negotiations, would be more damaging to their party than it would be to Democrats.

In a new poll conducted by National Journal, only 19 percent of Republican insiders surveyed said they thought a shutdown would be in their party's interest, while 65 percent responded that it likely wouldn't. On the Democratic side, 56 percent of insiders said they believed a shutdown would benefit their party, while 29 percent responded that it wouldn't.

"The Republicans look awful if there's a government shutdown and they are seen to have caused it," one GOP Insider told Hotline. Others respondents pointed to the 1995 shutdown and the lasting political impact that it had on the image of then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the larger Republican Party.

Democrats, however, took a different tone, expressing their belief that a government shutdown would effectively show those within the growing small government ranks that they don't know what they have until it's gone.

"A shutdown will force middle income [families] to see how much government does to enhance the lives of ordinary Americans," one Democratic insider told Hotline. "So far, Republicans have convinced everyone that government does nothing."

Check out Hotline's coverage for full polling results and more.

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