Will the shutdown cost the GOP politically? The 2014 elections are a year away so there is time to recover for Congressional and Senate candidates. If anything it may hurt GOP chances to increase their margins in the House or pick up the Senate.
For GOP candidates running right now it appears the answer (unless your name is Chris Christie) is yes.
A new poll out of Virginia from the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll, shows likely voters prefer Terry McAuliffe 46 percent to 39 percent for Ken Cuccinelli. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis wins 11 percent. Only 4 percent of likely voters are undecided.
As I have said before, I expected Sarvis to underperform that number, which is why I think the race is still anyone’s ballgame.
However for Cuccinelli the real problem may be something he has no control over. In particular, it looks like the government shutdown is hurting his poll numbers. The survey found among the 13 percent of Virginia voters who blame one candidate or another for the shutdown more blame Cuccinelli (47 percent) than McAuliffe (7 percent). Likely voters who are affected by the shutdown prefer McAuliffe by 15 percentage points (49-34).
Although he had nothing to do with the shutdown, it may end up being that Cuccinelli is the one Republican who really takes the hit for the mess in Washington. You get the feeling Ted Cruz is no longer on the Cuccinelli family Christmas card list.