It’s no secret why Republicans are facing a PR debacle over the shutdown they triggered. Not only have conservatives chosen an unpopular issue on which to make a stand—polls consistently show that Americans oppose defunding Obamacare by a fairly wide margin. The Tea Partiers have exacerbated the problem by choosing a massively unpopular approach to getting their way. The latest Quinnipiac poll finds that voters object to defunding Obamacare under threat of shutdown by a yawning 50-point margin. (In fairness, an earlier CNBC poll put the margin at a mere 41 points.)

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