Most Americans Oppose A New Shutdown

A new poll shows that most Americans would oppose a second government shutdown over the border wall.

While the White House is leaving open the possibility of shutting the government down again if Congress fails to fund the President’s border wall, a new poll shows that most Americans disagree: 

Voters have little appetite for another government shutdown if Congress does not approve money to build President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult.

But Trump’s apparent fallback position — declaring a “national emergency” to divert money to the project — is also unpopular, leaving the embattled president again stuck between a base that wants him to build the wall at all costs, and the majority that wants him to fund the government and move on.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted Jan. 25-27, after Trump announced an end to the more-than-monthlong shutdown that began late last year. A large majority of voters, 72 percent, support the agreement to reopen the government, the poll shows, while only 15 percent oppose it.

But after that, things get dicey for Trump and the GOP. Only 31 percent of voters support shutting the government down again to force Congress to appropriate money for the wall, while nearly twice that many, 58 percent, oppose another shutdown. If the government does shut down again, a combined 54 percent would blame Trump and congressional Republicans, while just 33 percent would blame Democrats in Congress.

Trump has suggested that he could declare a “national emergency” to avert a shutdown but still build the wall — but that, too, is unpopular. A narrow, 51 percent majority opposes declaring an emergency, which is supported by 38 percent.

Given three options, a majority, 53 percent, say Trump shouldn’t shut down the government or declare a “national emergency” if Congress won’t give him money for the wall — far greater than the 9 percent who would support another shutdown or the 24 percent who want Trump to declare a “national emergency.”

Throughout the shutdown fight, Trump has tried to sell the public on the necessity of a border wall. But POLITICO/Morning Consult polling over the past month shows little, if any, movement on many of the key questions.

Fewer than four in 10 voters say the U.S. faces a “crisis” of illegal immigration along the border with Mexico, and another 37 percent say the U.S. faces a “problem” but not a “crisis.” That is virtually unchanged over the past three weeks.

Similarly, the percentage of voters who support the construction of a border wall, 45 percent, is essentially unchanged. Slightly more voters, 47 percent, oppose building a wall.

Other polls show greater opposition to a border wall. Majorities of voters in new, post-shutdown surveys from Monmouth University (51 percent) and Quinnipiac University (55 percent) oppose building a wall.

Trump’s overall approval rating in the new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll is 40 percent, unchanged from last week, before the shutdown’s end. The percentage of voters who disapprove ticked down slightly, to 55 percent this week from 57 percent last week.


A combined 55 percent of voters also blame Trump and Republicans in Congress more for the shutdown, more than the 34 percent who blame Democrats. But more voters, 42 percent, say they trust Trump and the GOP more when it comes to handling border security than the 36 percent who trust Democrats in Congress.

This poll comes out on the same day that representatives from the House and Senate begin meeting in a Conference Committee in an effort to reach some kind of agreement on a border security package that would satisfy Democrats in the House, Republicans in the Senate and, of course, the President. Even before the meeting began this morning, the President warned the committee via Twitter that they would be wasting their time if they were not “discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier.” Notwithstanding that warning, though, the committee is moving forward with its meetings and, given the makeup of the group, it seems unlikely that they are going to give the President everything he wants, or that the final version of what emerges from the committee will even contain any funding specifically designated for wall funding. Instead, we’re likely to see funding for border security that includes repairs or upgrades to existing fencing and other barriers at points along the border where they have already existed for many years. Then it will be up to the President to decide if that’s good enough, or if he wants to force another shutdown that we already know he’s going to lose.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Kathy says:

    I trust Dennison to commit more unforced errors and mess things up in the most stupid way possible. I trust him completely.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    I’m sure most Americans also oppose cyanide poisoning and thermonuclear destruction…but hey, if such odious things would help President Pissy Pants get his vanity wall…

  3. CSK says:

    Trump Tweeted this morning that his intelligence chiefs are “extremely passive and naive” on the subject of Iran, and that perhaps “they should go back to school.”

    He also spelled “their” as “there,” but so what else is new?

  4. Kathy says:


    Isn’t it obvious El Cheeto hates intelligence and has been fighting it all his life?

  5. CSK says:


    Aw, come on. Hasn’t he told us he has “the best brain,” along with “the best words”?

  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Democrats want to make Election Day a Nat’l Holiday.
    McConnell admits Republicans are for voter suppression:

    Just what America needs, another paid holiday and a bunch of government workers being paid to go out and work … [on Democratic] campaigns…This is the Democrat plan to restore democracy? … A power grab.”

  7. Kathy says:


    Aw, come on. Hasn’t he told us he has “the best brain,”

    I believe it. it’s mint in box, isn’t it?

  8. CSK says:


    I suppose so. Sarah Sanders told the Christian Broadcasting Network today that God wanted Trump to be president.

  9. Kathy says:


    Ah, so when Jeremiah Wright said “God damn America,” He was amenable to do so?


  10. Monala says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m not sure I like the idea either. It’s unlikely that restaurants and retail stores would be closed that day, since they aren’t typically closed on days that aren’t Christmas and New Year’s (and even then, many places are open for part of the day). So the people least likely to vote, low wage workers, who often can’t vote because they can’t get the time off from work, still likely won’t be better able to exercise their civic duty with a paid Election Day holiday.

    Of course, ideas that actually does help low-wage workers to vote, such as vote by mail and early voting, are often opposed fiercely by Republicans.

  11. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..I trust him completely.

    As well you should.
    Per CNN:

    Sarah Sanders: God ‘wanted Donald Trump to become president’
    “I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that’s why he’s there,” Sanders told CBN’s David Brody and Jennifer Wishon, according to a transcript of the interview provided by CBN.

    Come on Trump Chumps. Call this fake news. I double dog dare ya’.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    Sarah Sanders told the Christian Broadcasting Network today that God wanted Trump to be president.

    Ahh, so God must have asked Putin to help the Trump campaign to make sure He got what He wanted…it all makes so much sense now…

  13. Kathy says:


    In Mexico elections are held on a Sunday. Federal elections are in July.

    It’s hard to make a comparison, though. For one thing, the ballots are extremely simple. You get a letter-size sheet of paper for every office being voted on. These have the party or party alliance logos with the candidate’s name under each. You draw an X over the one you choose, and deposit your ballot in an urn. There are fewer offices than in the US. Typically on a Federal election you get ballots for President, Senator, and Deputy (equivalent to Representative). If it coincides with a state election, you get one for Governor, and one or two for the state legislature (which varies by state).

    That’s that. No elections for lower offices like sanitation commissioner (“Can’t Someone Else Do It?”), state’s attorney, district attorney, judges, etc. No ballot initiatives or propositions, either.

    So the lines tend to be short, and voting takes under three minutes. Turnout last year for a presidential election was around 63%

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Turnout last year for a presidential election was around 63%

    Evidence right there that making election day a holiday would be more beneficial for democracy…not so much for Republicans, of course, but they seem to have an aversion to democracy these days…

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I for one, welcome another Trump Shutdown.

    It allows Americans that pay little attention to politics to realize the disarray of the GOP.

    I say: Why not a Trump Shutdown / Mueller Findings twofer?!!?!

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: @Mister Bluster: I just wish people would stop blaming God for the things that happen in the United States. The US isn’t even mentioned in prophecy or anything; why would God single out this nation?

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..The US isn’t even mentioned in prophecy or anything; why would God single out this nation?

    BLASPHEMY! SACRILEGE! You are in trouble now!

    US Discovered in the Bible

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, during the Great Tribulation, the United States could be a harbor of safety, one nation under God, as the Antichrist dominates Europe and most of the world?

    On the other hand, It Ain’t Necessarily So.

    Apologies to CSK. Did not see where you scooped me.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Funny. as far as I understand Christian mythology, and that’s not very far, wouldn’t the Antichrist try to deceive the believers to tempt them onto the wrong path? If so, one can’t help but think of the millions of fervent Evangelicals who support a lazy, gluttonous adulterer who lies, cheats, cons and steals all the time, and who mistreats women and children?

    I don’t believe any of that, but it makes more sense than to think some all-powerful, all-knowing, allegedly all-loving, benevolent deity would foist a Dennison Effing Trump on any nation, other than to punish them.

  19. Mister Bluster says: makes more sense…

    We are talking about religion here.
    Virgin birth, resurrection of the dead, transubstantiation…

    oh I forgot…invisible angels…

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: I’ve actually read that word salad before. It was just as ridiculous before as it was this time.

    Let’s just leave it at I find myself wondering whether I have a place in conservative Evangelical America and keep coming to the realization that the answer seems to be “no.” It’s very difficult to feel abandoned by the people you grew up and made most of your life with because they’ve fallen down a rabbit hole.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: “…wouldn’t the Antichrist try to deceive the believers to tempt them onto the wrong path?”

    Only if one believed that the believers would still be here. Most of us don’t, but it did make for interesting conversations with my Mom (who is a don’t whereas I’m open to your idea as a thought experiment at a minimum) when Dubya came out with his national identity card that would be imprinted on a person’s hand in the wake of 9/11.

    The argument of Evangelicals at the time was that it wasn’t at all like the “Mark of the Beast” because Dubya was a good Christian who goes to an Evangelical church so he wouldn’t do anything like that and that it only seemed like “the Mark” because the resemblance is so close.

  22. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I was a raging alcoholic at that point, but I was still a news junkie, and I don’t remember anything about an ID card being printed on somebody’s hand.

  23. Teve says:

    Donald J. Trump
    So great to watch & listen to all these people who write books & talk about my presidential campaign and so many others things related to winning, and how I should be doing “IT.” As I take it all in, I then sit back, look around, & say “gee, I’m in the White House, & they’re not!

    What an embarrassment.

  24. just nutha says:

    @Teve: I think I remember someone talking about using chip technology or other things at the time because the ironies seemed so strong to me, but I certainly could be wrong easily enough. The outrages that come from my former corner of the body politic have been continuous over the past couple of decades.

  25. Matt says:

    @Kathy: To those people every single GOP president was anointed by God himself (God is always male). I vividly remember sitting in the waiting room at a quicklube oil change place back in the early 2000s with an old couple. They were positive that god put Bush in the position of President to protect us.. Never-mind 9/11 and stuff.. They were so nice and sincere I didn’t even bother trying to contradict them.

    One would think they might remember that thing about false idols or something..