Congressional Republicans. The decision to continue to tightly ally with Trump, while not surprising, doesn’t seem particularly smart for Republicans in the House and Senate. The wall is not popular outside of the president’s base — and that base is not big enough for the GOP to do well in 2020. Trump might lose in 2020, but at least the wall is something he campaigned on and seems to care about deeply.
I’m not predicting voters will recall this shutdown in November 2020. But it seems unwise for congressional Republicans to basically allow the party’s strategy to be directed by Trump. Maybe this wall issue is an aberration, and Republicans will distance themselves more from the president over the next two years. But Trump’s culture war politics resulted in a very narrow electoral victory in 2016 and a resounding defeat in 2018. Congressional Republicans could treat the wall and Trump’s broader immigration approach like they have the president’s Russia stances, which the GOP has largely rejected. Instead, so far, congressional Republicans have linked themselves to a strategy that polls suggest is politically toxic.