Just one wrinkle: As we’ll see, most of the public doesn’t consider it to have been a “Schumer shutdown.”
This comes from Quinnipiac, which consistently produces the most terrible polling numbers of any major U.S. outfit for Trump and the GOP. For the most part their new data is no exception. Asked whether they want Democrats or Republicans to control the House next year, Americans split 51/38. Asked whether they want Democrats or Republicans to control the Senate, they split 53/39. When prompted to place blame for the shutdown, more choose either the president (31 percent) or congressional Republicans (18 percent) than choose congressional Democrats (32 percent).
Lotta bad news there, none of it surprising. This, however, is surprising. And not encouraging for Chuck Schumer.
If you strain, you could spin that result by arguing that it likely includes a huge number of people who thought the shutdown was unnecessary because a DACA fix should be able to pass without any resistance. Quinnipiac finds 75 percent of the public, including a plurality of Republicans, in favor of a bill that would legalize illegals who were brought to the U.S. as kids. My strong suspicion, though, is that most respondents thought the shutdown was “unnecessary” because they simply don’t think DACA is important enough to justify using government funding as leverage — which would be in line with what other polls have showed. And that’s a big problem for Schumer, who’s facing a new shutdown standoff in three weeks and is under intense pressure from the left not to betray DREAMers this time by caving. If last weekend’s shutdown was “unnecessary,” how does he justify a rerun on February 8th?
Quinnipiac drilled down further and asked the 75 percent who support legalizing DACA enrollees whether they thought a shutdown would be justified in order to make that happen. Again, this is only among people who say they support a DREAM amnesty. The 18 percent of Americans who oppose it aren’t even part of this data set. Result:
If we use a little fourth-grade math and multiply the share of Americans who support an amnesty by the share who think a shutdown to produce one would be worth it, we find that just 32 percent of the population is willing to see Schumer go to the mat to make it happen. As Trump might say: Not good! What does Shutdown Schumer do now with numbers like those staring him in the face? He wants to get amnesty shills off his back but he also wants to make sure his party doesn’t shoot itself in the foot by doing something unpopular that fumbles their momentum towards November. If the open-borders lobby could wait another 10 months, Schumer might be in a position where he and Pelosi are in charge of Congress and can threaten to blow up Trump’s entire presidential agenda if he doesn’t come to the table on DREAM. (They’re going to blow up his entire presidential agenda anyway, but oh well.) Meanwhile, if there’s no deal next month, Trump will suddenly be jammed on what to do about DACA. If he follows through on his deadline and ends the program in March, he’ll be on the wrong side of those 75 percent who want to see DACA enrollees legalized. If he breaks his promise and keeps DACA going, border hawks will freak out that he looks “weak” and is propping up Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty.
But first we need to get through February, when all the pressure will be on Schumer to drive a new hard bargain on DREAM. There’s zero reason to believe that the wider public wants to see that happen, at least if government funding is involved, and yet his base is frantic to see it happen. What does he do?