Government Shutdown Watch
President Trump may have changed his mind about welcoming responsibility for shutting down part of the federal government over his proposed border wall, but Americans are still sticking him and his party with most of the blame, according to two polls released Sunday. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 53 percent of respondents blamed Trump and the Republican Party for the shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history, while 29 percent blamed Democrats and 13 percent blamed both sides. In a CNN/SSRS poll, 55 percent of American adults blamed Trump and the GOP, 32 percent blamed Democrats, and 9 percent blamed both sides equally.
Trump and the GOP "are losing the messaging war on the government shutdown," Politico reports, but only among Democrats, independents, and white voters without a college education. Almost 7 in 10 Republicans blame Democrats for the shutdown in the Washington Post/ABC poll, but GOP support for building a border wall has increased by 16 percentage points since last January, to 87 percent now from 71 percent a year ago. In the CNN poll, 8 in 10 Republicans back a wall. Overall, in the CNN poll, 56 percent of Americans oppose the wall and 39 percent support it; in the Post/ABC poll, 54 percent oppose the wall versus 42 percent who support it.
Trump's poll numbers have also taken a hit amid the shutdown, the CNN poll found. His approval rating remained steady at 37 percent, but his disapproval number rose 5 percentage points since December, to 57 percent. Much of that rise in disapproval came from whites without college degrees, among whom he is now underwater for the first time in a year, with 45 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving. This group also blames Trump over Democrats for the shutdown, 45 percent to 39 percent.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted via phone Jan. 8-11 among 788 Americans nationwide, and its margin of sampling error is ±4.5 percentage points. The CNN/SSRS poll was conducted Jan. 10-11 among 848 adults nationwide, and its margin of sampling error is ±4.1 points.