MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Being the premier national sport, pundits and citizens are currently engaging in a frenzy of speculation about who is ahead in the "game" of shutting down the government. Everyone wants to predict which party the House Tea Party action will hurt more.
At the current moment, most polls indicate that the majority of Americans blame the Republicans for causing the crisis. However, the strategic battle rages on in this Super Bowl of political crises.
Nonetheless, there are some longer term indicators that may provide better insight than beyond the immediate political conflict.
For instance, a poll sponsored by the National Journal shows that since 2012 the Republicans are losing the backing of women in droves:
Only 14 percent of women said the Republican Party had moved closer to their perspective. More than twice as many women, 33 percent, said the party had drifted further from them....
In the new poll, the results for the GOP are even more ominous among young women. Only 11 percent of women younger than 50 said the party had moved closer to them. In contrast, 29 percent said the GOP had moved further away.
With Sarah Palin having pretty much given up politics for the windfall of speaking fees and Michele Bachmann tarnished a bit by an ethics-legal cloud hanging over her head, this stage in the right wing "destroy the federal government" jihad narrative has been led by fanatic, anti-women's issues, anti-empathy white males.
So if you're willing to look beyond the chaos and economic destruction caused by the federal shutdown, the trending with female voters -- at least according to the National Journal poll -- is not good for the GOP:
College-educated white women were particularly likely...to say the Republican Party was now further from their views. That is especially significant because Republicans had made critical gains among that demographic in the 2012 election cycle. President Obama's support among college-educated white women dropped by 6 percentage points, from 52 percent to 46 percent, between the 2008 and 2012 elections, according to national exit polls.
The poll breakdown reveals an even greater growing gender canyon in political party appeal:
Of those women who said the Republican Party had moved away from them, nearly three in five, 59 percent, said it was because the GOP had become "too conservative." Only 33 percent said the party was further from them because it wasn't conservative enough.
Again, the results were particularly sharp for college-educated white women—the type of suburban voters that campaigns typically vie heavily to win. Of those college-educated white women who said the Republican Party has moved further from them, 66 percent said it was because it had become "too conservative."
Given that healthcare generally polls strongly as an issue women are concerned about, one can draw one's own conclusions as to how shutting down the government over expanded medical insurance will politically impact the Republican Party.
(Photo: Public Commons)