The good news: Americans agree that there is a national-security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac. The bad news: pretty much everything else in the poll. Not only do respondents approve of a Democratic plan to re-open most of the shuttered agencies in the government, a solid majority puts the blame for the standoff on Donald Trump, not Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer:
American voters support 63 – 30 percent a Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security while negotiating funding for the Wall, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Every party, gender, education, age and racial group supports this idea except Republicans, who are opposed 52 – 39 percent.
Voters oppose 63 – 32 percent shutting down the government to force funding for the Wall, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds. Again, Republicans are the only listed group supporting the shutdown, 67 – 24 percent.
The GOP is losing the battle as 56 percent of American voters say President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are responsible for the shutdown, while 36 percent say Democrats are responsible.
They’re losing the battle on shutdown blame because that’s how shutdowns work. The party making the big demand gets the blame. That’s why Chuck Schumer took the blame for last year’s brief interruption, created by his demand for a statutory form of DACA before funding the government. Trump may want to shift blame for this to Schumer, but this time he’s the one making the big demand and refusing to sign any funding without it.
The bigger problem for the White House isn’t blame as much as it is a lack of movement. Support for the wall grew in the last two years; it was 33/64 in May 2017 but reached 43/54 by the middle of last month, just before the shutdown started. However, it’s still at 43/55 one month later, and it’s mainly popular only among Republicans (88/10, as opposed to 6/92 among Democrats and 39/59 among independents). Those numbers drop off slightly when asked if a wall is a good use of taxpayer dollars. Whatever else one can say about this shutdown, the Trump administration was doing better at building political momentum for a wall before it.
That’s true even while a 54/43 majority agrees that a security crisis exists at the border. Majorities in most demos agree, with only Democrats, black voters, and 35-49-year-olds opposing that idea (the latter within the margin of error). An even wider and more inclusive majority agrees that a humanitarian crisis exists at the border, too. The problem is that majorities oppose the idea that a border can help with either crisis, no matter which of the three ways Quinnipiac asks that question.
By the way, Trump’s eight-minute address didn’t help with Quinnipiac’s group of respondents:
Oof. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi didn’t fare much better at 38/39, but when put head-to-head, Trump trailed the Democratic duo 36/46.
Finally, in one of the most telling results, only 2% said they changed their minds on the border wall based on Trump’s speech. That might have been because of Trump’s weak performance noted above, but a third of people thought he was “mostly accurate,” whatever that might mean to them. The truth is that the speeches no longer matter. The shutdown has put this issue into stasis, and no one will have their minds changed through argument and debate at this point. Both speeches turned out to be wastes of broadcast air time.