One-Third of Americans Feel Affected by the Shutdown

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 11 2013 8:44 AM

One-Third of Americans Feel Affected by the Shutdown

One line in the WSJ poll that's not getting a ton of attention: The question about personal repercussions from the shutdown.

Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 8.20.49 AM

When a reporter points out or argues that the shutdown effectively bailed out Barack Obama at a weak point, you hear plenty of conservatives grousing that the media should be able to cover more than one thing at once. They're too busy covering the shutdown to mention that Obamacare's website isn't loading basic forms? What's wrong with them?

Nothing -- they're covering the story that affects more people. If you extrapolate from this poll, you're more than twice as likely to be affected by the shutdown as to be lacking insurance and needing to buy into the exchange. (Around 14 percent of Americans lack health insurance.)

There's a sense on the right that only D.C. journalists are obsessed with the shutdown, and, true, we're feeling it more directly. (My landlord's been furloughed. I doubt that too many readers of this blog can say that about their landlords.) The irony is that the conservative response to the shutdown, the "Obama's maximizing the pain" line, has relied heavily on the outward signs of shutdown in D.C.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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