Shutdown Polling

The numbers aren't good for Trump.

Via WaPo:  Americans blame Trump and GOP much more than Democrats for shutdown, Post-ABC poll finds.

By a wide margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans in Congress than congressional Democrats for the now record-breaking government shutdown, and most reject the president’s assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Support for building a wall on the border, which is the principal sticking point in the stalemate between the president and Democrats, has increased over the past year. Today, 42 percent say they support a wall, up from 34 percent last January. A slight majority of Americans (54 percent) oppose the idea, down from 63 percent a year ago.

The increase in support is sharpest among Republicans, whose backing for Trump’s long-standing campaign promise jumped 16 points in the past year, from 71 percent to 87 percent. Not only has GOP support increased, it has also hardened. Today, 70 percent of Republicans say they strongly support the wall, an increase of 12 points since January 2018.

Here’s the graph:

Via CNN:  CNN Poll: Trump bears most blame for shutdown.

The public generally is more apt to blame the President, with 55% saying he is more responsible for the shutdown than are Democrats in Congress, while 32% say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats. Another 9% say both are responsible. Democrats are more unified in their blame for the President (89% blame Trump) than are the Republican rank-and-file in blaming the Democrats (65% of Republicans blame the Democrats in Congress, 23% blame Trump). Independents are more apt to blame Trump (48% to 34%), and are most likely to say both sides are responsible (14%).

A lot of this boils down to partisan divide, but it is difficult to see how Trump can win this confrontation.  Further, his claims to have the support of the country on this issue simply aren’t true.

Moreover, I would note, as I am prone to do, that the Senate and Presidency are on the wrong side of public preferences here and they are also the institutions that were not elected in a way that requires them to fully take those preferences into account.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Modulo Myself says:

    When your entire worldview is based upon painting normal life as dystopian because it involves diversity and ambiguity, you are not going to have widespread appeal. These people are losers to the nth degree and they double down on being losers whenever they lose. DACA involves real people who will be actually happy if they get what they want. Had Trump been able to deliver on the deal, non-white people would have been happy, which is terrible. The wall? Trump could get funding and his base will be even more bitter and delusional. These two sides can not make an agreement: it’s like a parent negotiating with a child.

    This anti-social behavior has been weaponized for so long that we longer ever recognize it. A guy like Kavanaugh can break down and have a tantrum, and it’s time to debate how effective the hostile screeching of a Supreme Court nominee was. (Obviously, if Sotomayor had acted like that it would be a different story.) I really want to believe that Trump is the corpse we can stake and end this shit for a decade or so, but I doubt it.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Polls now are mostly frozen in amber. 40% like or kinda like Trump, 50% hate him, 10% is watching or playing games and clueless. He has gained zero new support over the course of two years during which we’ve had a strong economy and no new wars. Zero gain.

    The 29% of the overall is the hardcore Trump base, not guys who thought maybe Trump would grow into the job, this is the number of people who would rationalize Trump strangling Guatemalan children and eating their livers. That’s the true, hard nut of the famous ‘base.’ It’s not 50%, it’s not even 40%, it’s less than a third.

  3. Michael says:

    I really appreciate you putting in that last sentence. I agree that why we elect senators and the president as we do is arcane to say the least, but I am always met in arguments with “that pesky Constitution”. I always cite you in my arguments, but my friends are not willing to consider an alternative.

  4. @Michael Reynolds: I think this is largely true. Indeed, the only shift would be if the economy tanks. It is really important to remember that the last two years were good on the general “peace and prosperity” front and yet Trump still can’t get majority support.

    @Michael: Thanks. It is hard to get people to even think about these things, let alone agree on a solution (but good to hear you are talking about them!).

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    The one problem with the party breakouts on polls like this is that it leaves the reader with the impression that the three groups remain the same size over time. So while Trump is still popular among the people who still self-identify as Republicans, that category has been continuously shrinking over the last two years.

  6. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You really think when he says things like “All the people not getting paid are Democrats,” this doesn’t gain him any sympathy or support with either Democrats, or Independents?

    How can this be?

  7. @Stormy Dragon: A fair point.

  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Even if the economy tanks, the 29% will still be largely racist, misogynistic, and white supremacist, in favor of the wall (probably even more so because “taking our jobs”). They will still favor the rich not paying taxes (no jobs must equal taxes are still too high), be opposed to Obamacare, anti-regulation, global warming deniers, and against any kind of gun control measures or immigration reform. ETA: I left out that they will still be anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, and pro severe penalties for both.

    29% of the society are simply insane and don’t give a fork about anyone not in their immediate circle of friends. And they seem to represent the swing coalition in elections.

  9. An Interested Party says:

    Wait a minute! We’ve been repeatedly told by one of the regular commentators around here that the shutdown is the fault of the Democrats, particularly Pelosi and Schumer…you mean, that isn’t true!? Who knew!? So much for the idea that President Pissy Pants did all of this to lay some kind of trap…maybe he was trying to trap himself…

  10. @Just nutha ignint cracker: Without a doubt there is a core which will not defect.

  11. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You could wander over to 538 and take a look at the “How Popular is Donald Trump?” chart.

    There looks to be a pronounced recent trend not necessarily to DJT advantage.