A lot has changed between 2011 and 1995, most notably the fact the average citizen's access to national political information isn't controlled by just two left-of-center newspapers and four left-of-center broadcast and cable networks.
The "democratization" of information means the average citizen in 2011 is far better informed than the citizen of 1995, and the difference is showing as Democrat efforts to force a goverment shutdown look as though they'll backfire.
* Fifty-nine percent of unaffiliated likely voters, and fifty-eight percent of all likely voters, would rather the government shut down than Congress authorize a budget extension that doesn't cut spending (Rasmussen, Feb. 28, 2001.)
* By a six-point margin, likely voters are also more likely to blame Democrats than Republicans should the government shut down (The Hill, Feb. 28, 2001.) That's likely because House Republicans worked extra-long days, often until the early morning hours, to get a budget resolution over to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which decided to go on vacation and skip town.
What about those polls showing support for big spending? Look at the sample. Networks and liberal special interests often commission polls of "registered voters" and "adults" to skew the sample. Polls of "registered voters" dilute the voting public by throwing in people who got a voter registration card at the DMV and don't care enough to show up to vote, while polls of "adults" dilute it even further by watering down the sample with mass numbers of people who are so politically unaware they didn't even bother to register.
It doesn't speak well of the left-of-center point of view when the only way to get a poll result that backs your opinion is to poll people who have no idea what Congress or a budget are.
Elections are decided by those who turn out and vote, and poll after poll show Americans want spending drastically reduced, and they recognize the fact Democrats are now resorting to hiding out like fugitives and sabotaging budget negotiations to protect the silk pockets and plush bank accounts of the union bosses who control them.