There is little doubt the Republican Party has suffered damage from the tea party-driven government shutdown that ended Thursday with barely any concessions from the Democrats.
In just a month, public favorability of the GOP dropped 10 points, to 28 percent, an all-time low for either party in the Gallup poll. Republican strategists are worried the shutdown will harm their party’s fundraising and help the Democrats raise money and recruit candidates.
But is the damage really enough to put Republican control of the House in jeopardy in the November 2014 midterms?
Many factors nevertheless mitigate against a Democratic takeover.
“But if we do have another shutdown, we will be stealing defeat from jaws of victory,” says Ford O’Connell, head of the conservative Civic Forum PAC."
Going forward, says Mr. O’Connell, the best thing Republicans can do is let the difficult rollout of the Affordable Care Act – the computer glitches, the higher insurance rates some consumers are seeing, the unpopular individual mandate to buy insurance – dominate the news without the distraction of a shutdown.
“What they really need to be doing” he says, “is let the stories of Obamacare’s failure write themselves.”