Majority Of Americans Blame Trump For Shutdown, Oppose Border Wall
New polling indicates that President Trump is getting the blame for the ongoing government shutdown.
New polling indicates that more Americans are blaming the President for the shutdown than any other party:
More Americans blame President Trump than Democrats for the six-day partial government shutdown, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.
The new poll found that 33 percent of American blamed congressional Democrats for the shutdown, while 47 percent blamed Trump. Seven percent blamed Republicans in Congress. A little more than 12 percent said “other” in response to the options of who to blame.
Only 35 percent of those polled said they support including money for a wall on the Mexican border in a bill to open the government. Just 25 percent of those polled said they backed Trump for shutting down parts of the federal government over the issue.
The government shut down on Saturday after Congress and the White House could not agree to a funding bill that Trump demanded include $5 billion for his wall.
A second poll from Harvard University and Harris finds similar numbers, and also finds that the American public wants Congress and the President to reach a compromise to end the shutdown:
Most voters oppose President Trump’s demand for border wall funding, but think that the White House and congressional Democrats should compromise on funding for the president’s long-promised project, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.
The survey found that 56 percent of respondents do not support the president’s proposal to construct a wall along the southern border, compared to 44 percent who do.
Erecting a broad security barrier along the border is only slightly more popular, according to the poll. Only 46 percent of respondents support that proposal, while 54 percent oppose it.
A majority of U.S. voters surveyed, 58 percent, said Trump should withdraw his demand for the border funding, while 42 percent said the president “should not give in.”
The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found, however, that a slight majority of U.S. voters polled, 51 percent, believe that Democratic lawmakers and the president should compromise and agree on a $2.5 billion funding package for border security. Forty-nine percent said that they should not compromise.
“While a plurality want President Trump to relent in terms of the shutdown, a majority want to see the Democrats and Republicans enter into a compromise with $2.5 billion in barrier funding,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.
“This suggests that Trump has room right now to wait out the shutdown as numbers are remaining stable even though most want him to cave and end it.”
What’s more, nearly two-thirds of respondents, 64 percent, see the current shutdown as a largely symbolic one. By comparison, 36 percent said they see it as a “real shutdown” that impacts their lives.
“Sixty-four percent said this is just a symbolic shutdown, and that means people see this more as political squabbling rather than something affecting their lives — at least at this point during the holidays,” Penn said.
“In the 1995 shutdown, the Republicans immediately lost support,” he added. “We are not seeing a similar pattern yet, but it’s early.”
Trump faces even longer odds of securing wall funding next week, when a new Democratic majority takes power in the House.
There appears to be little public support for a government shutdown over border security funding. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found that roughly 40 percent of U.S. voters back the current funding standoff, while 61 percent oppose the notion of using a shutdown to secure money for border security.
An overwhelming majority of U.S. voters believe that security along the southern border is a problem, with 48 percent saying that it’s a “serious problem” and 38 percent saying it’s a “minor problem.” Only 14 percent said that border security is “not even a small priority,” the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found
These results are consistent with the results of a CNN poll released prior to the shutdown that found that a majority of Americans oppose the border wall and that they would oppose a shutdown precipitated by a lack of funding for the wall. In addition to this, polling has clearly indicated that the American public is largely opposed to the Republican Party’s current orthodoxy on immigration. Polling released earlier this year showed similar disapproval for the border wall and the rest of the GOP’s immigration policy. Throw into that mix the significant public opposition to the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance and family separation policies, both of which continue to be a source of problems on the southern border, as well as recent polling from National Public Radio and Morning Consult and it becomes clear that the President and the Republican Party are on the wrong side of this issue politically and that there really is no way that they can “win” this issue.
All of this makes one wonder why the White House is persisting in this strategy of insisting on border wall funding notwithstanding the fact that the public is so opposed to the idea and the even more obvious fact that, regardless of how this shutdown crisis resolves itself, the President’s border wall is essentially dead once the Democrats take control of House in just five days. The primary answer, of course, is the fact that, while most Americans oppose the border wall, the opposite is true among Republicans and most specifically among the members of the President’s strongest base of supporters. For better or worse, the President remains convinced that all he needs to do is continue pleasing these people even though the midterm election results and his job approval numbers say otherwise.