Most Americans Believe Trump Shut Down The Government Over An Unpopular Proposal

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The shutdown now stands at 18 days, and it's highly unlikely that it will end anytime soon. One reason for this is that President Donald Trump remains unwilling to compromise over congressional funding for his border wall, which he promised Mexico would pay for during the campaign. The political effects of this might not turn out so well for the president, however, because polls show that most Americans oppose Trump's border wall and blame him for the shutdown — and his approval rating has taken a hit to boot.

As of Dec. 27, most Americans blamed Trump for the shutdown, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 47 percent of those surveyed saying they blamed the president. Another 33 percent blamed Democrats in Congress, and 7 percent blamed congressional Republicans. Similar polls taken around the same time produced similar results, as FiveThirtyEight reports, suggesting that the majority of Americans agreed Trump was the cause of the shutdown.

These polls came after Trump pledged to sign a bill Congress passed that didn't include funding for his promised border wall, and then withdrew that pledge at the last minute, as The Washington Post reports. In other words, funding for the wall was — and remains — the central reason for the shutdown.

One potential problem for the president, however, is that numerous polls show most Americans don't want Trump's border wall, as Mother Jones reported. The aforementioned Reuters/Ipsos poll, for example, found that only 35 percent of people surveyed wanted Congress to include wall funding in the spending bill, and only 25 percent of people actually supported Trump shutting down the government because of it. In a Quinnipiac poll from last month, 54 percent of Americans both opposed the wall and believed that it wasn't a necessary measure to improve border security.

Now, more than two weeks into the shutdown, 70 percent of registered voters believe that Congress and Trump need to reach a compromise, according to a poll from The Hill/HarrisX. The poll also found that the people most likely to dislike the idea of a compromise were also most likely to "strongly approve" of Trump. Even these people, however, were only against a compromise by a margin of 54 to 46 percent.

Trump made it clear that he believed shutting down the government over the wall would be a popular move, referring to it as a "total winner" in an interview with Politico before the shutdown began. That's evidently not the case, however. FiveThirtyEight's poll aggregator found that his approval ratings have suffered as the shutdown has continued — although there isn't any certainty that the shutdown directly caused the dip.

Despite the clear evidence from the polls, though, Trump still maintains that the American people support his drive for wall funding.

I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security ... or, frankly, the wall or the barrier," Trump said without evidence at a surprise press briefing last week, according to Yahoo News. "I have never had anything like it in terms of calls coming in, in terms of people writing in and tweeting. I’ve never had this much support.”