As a shout-out to the base, a new NPR/Marist poll shows Donald Trump’s emergency declaration a clear success. And that’s about the only good news in the poll, which also shows 61% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s order and want it challenged in court. Fifty-four percent of respondents tell the pollster that they are now less likely to vote for Trump in 2020:
More than 6-in-10 Americans disapprove of President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency so he can build barriers along the U.S border with Mexico, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.
Nearly 6-in-10 also don’t believe there is an emergency at the southern border and that the president is misusing his presidential authority. They also believe that his decision should be challenged in court.
“All things related to the declaring of a national emergency, the president is striking out in the court of public opinion,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the survey. “He’s maintaining his base and little else.”
For those inclined to check out the demos of any poll first, this sample seems to be in reasonably close proximity to the current status quo. It’s a D+8 sample (34/26/37) that might tend a little toward independents, but not overly so. The gender split tilts a bit toward women, 53/47, but there are no obvious red flags, no egregious D+14 sample to unskew, especially when dealing with results this dramatic.
Nor are the questions particularly leading. The approval question on the declaration is asked straightforwardly, and it gets a 36/61 response. The partisan splits are precisely what one would imagine — 6/94 among Democrats, 85/12 among Republicans — but it’s remarkably unpopular among independents at 33/63. Other than among Republicans, Trump supporters, and white evangelicals (67/26), it’s underwater in almost every demographic category. That includes white voters overall (40/57) and white non-college voters (43/53), a key Trump demographic. Small-town voters give thin majority support for the emergency.
Similar numbers come up when asked if voters think an actual emergency exists on the border. A nineteen-point majority says no (39/58), and apart for the same exceptions noted above, almost every demo falls right into line. Those numbers also parallel the responses to the question as to whether Trump is properly exercising his authority to declare an emergency.
The biggest problem for Trump comes from the results when voters are asked whether this will impact their voting decision in 2020. Only 12% say it won’t, and 54% say it will make them less likely to choose Trump. Check out the demographics on this question:
- White voters: 37/50
- Men: 38/48
- Women: 28/59
- Under 45: 26/61
- 45 or older: 37/49
Even the positive responses from MAGA Country aren’t very comforting. Small-town voters split 49/37, and rural voters only barely edged positive at 44/39. In the suburbs, where Trump got thumped in the midterms, the result was an ominous 29/56.
Needless to say, those are not great re-elect numbers. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about this is that the declaration came early enough in the cycle to be out of mind by November 2020, although any bragging about the wall being built will immediately recall how it was accomplished. Trump has made his play to his base; if he wants to win re-election, he’d better start strategizing on how to woo those outside of it as well.