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Government and Politics

John Green: The public's view of winners, losers in the shutdown can shift
Akron Political scientist says political and public dynamics since the shutdown of 1995 have changed

Mark Urycki
Dr. John Green of the Bliss Institute of Advanced Politics says the delicate politics are at play in the government shutdown.
Courtesy of UA
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The shutdown of the federal government is in only its second day. But as it goes on and the problems it causes begin to spread, the public may look for someone to blame.

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More Ohioans are probably following the Browns and Indians than are following Congress, but that could change if the shutdown lasts as long as it did in 1995 –  28 days. The latest shutdown was set in motion when 80 Republican House members signed a letter in August urging to their party to de-fund the Affordable Care Act. The head of the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, John Green, says it was a message Speaker John Boehner could not ignore.

“John Boehner, whatever one thinks of his politics, is a pretty good politician. But it’s very difficult given the divisions in his caucus given the so-called 'tea party and the moderate Republicans.'”

In 1995, it was Newt Gingrich and his hard-line Republicans leading the

Members of Congress will continue to be paid during the shutdown -- unless they chose to put their pay on hold or donate it.
So far, three in Ohio have done that. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Ben Wenstrup have donated salaries to charities. And the Washington Post says Rep. Bill Johnson is turning down his paycheck. 

charge to shut down the government, and they took some heat for it. 

“Polls right now indicate that the country is more divided on these issues than it was in 1995. But still the Democrats have a little bit of an advantage in this issue. More people seem willing to blame the Republicans - at least here in the early going-  right now than the Democrats.”

Green says the politics of which party comes out a winner are delicate, as more and more Americans feel the effects of the shutdown. 

Three Ohio congressmen signed that August letter --Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup and Jim Jordan. All are in safe Republican districts.

If it works this time, shutting down the government could become a new tactic for a party to prevent a law they don't like from going into effect.

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