Political Traction: U.S. shutdown overshadows throne speech

As Ottawa turns its attention to the government's speech from the throne Wednesday, Canadians are focused on the U.S. government shutdown, according to Jaime Watt of Navigator Ltd.

Canadians blame Republicans for the U.S. government shutdown, Obama emerges as political winner

Jaime Watt looks at how much traction the U.S. government shutdown is getting in Canada and whether Wednesday's throne speech is overshadowing other news 5:56

As Ottawa turns its attention to the government's speech from the throne on Wednesday, Canadians are instead focused on the U.S. government shutdown, which has now entered a third week, according to Jaime Watt of Navigator Limited.

Unlike last week, Canadians placed the blame for the shutdown on Republicans, while U.S. President Barack Obama has emerged as the clear political winner, Watt said.

Jaime Watt. (CBC)

"Obama has been a skillful communicator this week…he’s made this (shutdown) entirely now about the GOP," Watt said.

Canadians are even referring to the situation in Washington as the "GOP shutdown," Watt added.

Watt tracks media and other sources to determine which issues are gaining the most attention in Ottawa, and then compares that to the issues' traction with Canadians outside the nation's capital.

This week, the U.S. shutdown had 65 per cent traction in Ottawa, and captured 77 per cent of the conversation across Canada.

As for the throne speech, the government needs to do more to capture Canadians' attention, Watt said.

The speech, which will lay out the government's agenda, found 20 per cent traction in Ottawa and just 10 per cent in the rest of the country.

Top Traction issues between October 8 and October 15, 2013.

Jaime Watt joins CBC News Networks' Power & Politics host Evan Solomon each week to look at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians. Monitoring the House of Commons' question period, mainstream media and the conversation on social media, Watt and his team at Navigator Ltd. determine which issues gained the most attention in official Ottawa, and then measure how much traction those issues managed to find with Canadians outside the nation's capital.


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