When is McConnell Going to Do His Job and End this Absurd and Damaging Shutdown?
A host of recently-released polls confirm that Americans overwhelmingly blame President Trump and Republicans for the government shutdown, oppose the border wall and oppose a national security declaration.
Despite his fulminations, his oval office address, and his driveby at the border, Trump has lost the argument with the American people. As a result, pressure is mounting on Senate Republicans to reopen the government. The key question is when, if ever, will Majority Leader Mitch McConnell step up? As Colby Itkowitz of the Washington Post wrote in a headline on Friday, “Mitch McConnell could end the shutdown. But he’s sitting this one out.”
Below are key poll findings and takeaways:
- Americans overwhelmingly blame Trump and Republicans for the shutdown: When asked who is to blame for the shutdown, a host of recent polls find remarkably similar results:
As Democratic pollster Nick Gourevitch commented, “These numbers…on who’s responsible for the shutdown aren’t even close. In a hyper-partisan world, it takes real political malpractice to lose the blame game by 24 points.” Some more polling tidbits:
- Trump’s disapproval is climbing: According to CNN regarding their poll, “the President’s approval rating in the poll stands at 37% approve to 57% disapprove. Disapproval has risen five points since December.”
- Non-college whites are souring on Trump and driving the rising disapproval: Karen Tumulty of WaPo tweeted, “This, in the CNN poll, might get the White House’s attention: ‘The increase in disapproval for the President comes primarily among whites without college degrees, 45% of whom approve and 47% disapprove, marking the first time his approval rating with this group has been underwater in CNN polling since February 2018.”
- GOP Senators with 2020 re-elections are suffering politically: The Immigration Hub and MoveOn sponsored Public Policy Polling polls in key states where Republican Senators are up for re-election in 2020. According to Talking Points Memo article on the polling. “In Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina, voters disagree with Trump by double-digit margins that ‘government should be kept closed until he gets funding for the wall.’”
- Suburban voters are not happy: Ron Brownstein of CNN and The Atlantic Monthly, tweeted on Sunday: “After an election in which GOP was swept in the suburbs, new CNN poll shows 63% of college+ whites oppose border wall, 63% mostly blame Trump for shutdown & 64% disapprove of his job performance. A reminder that Trump’s base-first politics, abetted by GOP, carries real costs.”
- The wall is unpopular and Americans overwhelming oppose a wall-related emergency declaration: According to Sahil Kapur of CNN, the “CNN poll taken Jan. 10-11 finds that 39% favor building a wall on the southern border, 56% oppose. The same poll in Dec. 6-9 found that 38% favored a wall, 57% opposed. Doesn’t look like the president’s Oval Office address moved the needle.” Meanwhile, the Post/ABC poll found that by a 66-31% margin, Americans oppose President Trump declaring a national emergency over the border wall.
- Only 25% of Americans support a government shutdown over the wall. In the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, only 25% of Americans support shutting down the government until Congress approves funding the border wall and only 35% support including wall funding in a congressional spending bill.
- Two-thirds of Americans say Presidents and Congress should take all necessary steps to avoid a shutdown: In last week’s Politico/Morning Consult poll, 65% of Americans stated that Presidents should take all necessary steps to avoid a government shutdown and that Presidents should achieve their policy goals another way rather than a shutdown, while just 22% say Presidents should allow a temporary shutdown if it helps them achieve their policy goals. For Congress, 67% said that members of Congress should take all necessary steps to avoid a government shutdown, while just 19% say that members of Congress should allow a temporary government shutdown if it helps them achieve their policy goals.