As the country spirals toward a possible government shutdown in less than a week, most Americans, according to polls, are frustrated by the partisan stubbornness and don't want that shutdown to happen.
"Our country was founded on a great compromise," Casey Fos, a lawyer from New Orleans suburb of Covington, La., tells CNN.
In this showdown toward the shutdown, public opinion is a crucial factor, and the latest national surveys also suggest that Democrats and Republicans have numbers to bolster their arguments.
A shutdown of the government would kick in if Congress doesn't hammer out a new spending plan by Tuesday, the start of the new federal budget year. Republicans in the House have tied any deal to defunding the Affordable Care Act.
Americans want compromise
Two polls released Monday indicate that a majority of Americans want their lawmakers to compromise rather than stick to their principles. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned in a Pew Research Center poll say they want lawmakers to compromise with one in three saying members of Congress should stand by their principles even if the government shuts down.
And the public, by a 53 percent-25 percent margin, say it is more important for political leaders in Washington to compromise rather than sticking to their beliefs, according to a Gallup poll.
But some people outside of the nation's capital that CNN spoke with this week don't see much evidence of compromise going on inside the Beltway.
"I think they are playing 'Battleship,'" said Kate Koert, a financial controller from Atlanta.
Ryan Long of Portland, Ore., would love to see some compromise, but he laments that "I really don't think they can. I think each side is so entrenched now and the polarization is so high."
Not much love for a shutdown
The Senate this week is debating a bill passed along party lines Friday by the Republican-led House that would continue funding the federal government over the next three months but also defunds the ACA. Senate Democrats vow to strip out the portion of the measure that would defund the health care law.
Conservative freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, engaged in a marathon protest speech on the floor of the Senate overnight to put a spotlight on the tea party push to stop the new health care law.
"I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand," he said Tuesday as he began more than 19 hours of talking.
Meanwhile, many Americans just don't get it.
"I think allowing our government to shut down is insane," says Paul Mehner, a software architect and president of a small company from Olympia, Wash. "On the one hand, I really would like to see Obamacare killed. On the other hand, I don't think anything good is going to come about shutting down the government."
Public opinion polling seems to backup Mehner's sentiments.
Half of those questioned in the Pew poll say they oppose the House Republican measure that funding for the 2010 health care law be cut off as part of any budget agreement, with 28 percent supporting the GOP push to defund the ACA.
According to a CNBC All-America Economic Survey also released Monday, by a 44 percent-38 percent plurality, Americans oppose defunding the health care law, with opposition rising to 59 percent when the issue of shutting down the government and defaulting on its debt is included in the question.
More than six in 10 in a United Technologies/National Journal/Congressional Connection poll say Congress should provide funding for the government and deal with the health care issue separately.
And while 52 percent of those questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released late last week said they opposed the Affordable Care Act, only 27 percent supported shutting down the government to prevent implementation of the law.
If there is a shutdown, fingers will be pointed.
Heidi Heinisch, a sales support associate from Atlanta, says she'd blame the president at first, but adds that in the end, she'd also blame Congress.
"The House and the Senate," says Kayla Miller, from Gainesville, Fla.