The shutdown is becoming the President’s shutdown

January 02, 2019, 6:00 PM GMT+0

Entering the new year, more blame the President than Congressional Democrats for the shutdown

As the partial government shutdown enters the new year, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll suggests that blame is increasingly being placed on the President, and not on Congressional Democrats. A majority want President Trump to accept a compromise – or just to give in. Far fewer believe Democrats should accept the President’s demand for $5 billion for border security, including the President’s promised border wall, than say he should be the one to give in.

A majority of Republicans say that Democrats should accept the President’s demands. While only 8% of those in his party say the reverse -- that President Trump should give in to the Democrats -- nearly a third would accept a compromise somewhere in between the President’s $5 billion request and the Democrats’ previous offer of $1.6 billion. Less than a quarter of independents are clearly on the President’s side.

The opinions of those who support building a border wall are much like those of Republicans. 53% want Democrats to accept the President’s point of view, but more than a third prefer some sort of compromise.

In fact, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe that when it comes to budget negotiations, compromise is a better approach than sticking to principles. Reaching some agreement is clearly seen as better than standing one’s ground and risking shutdowns.

Nearly three weeks ago, the President told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.” Americans have accepted the President at his word.

More than half this week give the President “a lot” of blame for the shutdown, while only four in ten say that about the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress.

Last week, the difference in the percentage giving a lot of blame to the President and those saying that about Democrats in Congress was seven points. This week, the gap has almost doubled to 12 percentage points and even more saying President Trump deserves a lot of blame than say that about Congressional Democrats.

Nearly half, 48%, say the President is most to blame. 35% blame the Democrats most. Independents agree. 44% of them blame the President most, 29% blame Congressional Democrats.

Up until now, relatively few Americans have been affected by the shutdown personally. Only about 15% say they have been furloughed, lost business or tried to use a government service unavailable because of the shutdown. This group is even more likely than the public overall to want the President to compromise.

How long will the shutdown last? 55% think it will go on at least another week (and a third expect it will take two weeks or longer before it ends). Only 13% say it will last less than a week.

Republicans are a little more pessimistic than Democrats. 16% of them say the partial shutdown won’t end for at least another month.

See the full toplines and tables results

Photo: Getty