As the longest government shutdown in history drags on, most Americans appear to blame President Donald Trump and the Republican party for the government being dormant. But the numbers also tell a story of a deepened partisan divide that has likely hardened due to the media attention on what has caused the shutdown in the first place: Trump’s farcical wall.
According to a new CNN poll, 55 percent of those polled say that Trump is responsible for the shutdown while 32 percent blame Democrats, and nine percent blame both parties. On the divisive issue of the border wall with Mexico, however, support for the wall has strengthened among Republicans: eight out of ten favor the wall. But nine out of ten Democrats oppose it. Trump’s disapproval rating, CNN noted, has also increased by five points over the course of the past few months.
It appears as though most Americans know which side of the political spectrum doesn’t mind shutting down the government. A new Washington Post-ABC poll found 53 percent of Americans blame Trump, and 29 percent blame the Dems. According to the Post, during the 2013 shutdown, polling showed the exact number of people blamed Republicans then as now–with 53 percent faulting congressional Republicans and 29 percent holding then-President Barack Obama responsible for the government being closed.
The Post and ABC also found that the majority of Americans have not been affected by the shutdown. Only 18 percent said they experienced inconvenience, and a mere seven percent said it’s been “a major problem.”
One possible solution to the shutdown floated by Trump is to declare a national emergency and get the wall funded that way. But by a 2-1 margin, Americans oppose that idea (66 percent to 31 percent), with 51 percent saying they are “strongly opposed” to that tactic. According to the American people, the best way to solve the shutdown would be a compromise, but at the moment, that seems to be out of the realm of possibility.