President Donald Trump last week indicated at a campaign rally in Phoenix that he would be willing to force a government shutdown if that's what it takes to get Congress to approve funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — but a new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the president's stance.
“If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall. We’re going to have our wall. The American people voted for immigration control. We’re going to get that wall," Trump told supporters in Phoenix on Aug. 22, according to Politico.
But while the president appears willing to stop at nothing to fulfill one of his central campaign promises, a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted Aug. 24-28 shows that most Americans don't want their government to shut down.
"Would you support or oppose a government shutdown to force Congress to fund a proposed wall along the U.S./Mexico border?" the survey asked.
Congress must approve a new federal spending measure by Sept. 30 to keep the government open. If it fails to do so, non-essential functions will cease until an agreement is reached. Trump's statement that he's willing to shut down the government over border wall funding, shows that the wall will no doubt be among the most debated items in whichever spending measure lawmakers ultimately approve.
The most recent polling gives Capitol Hill Democrats just one more reason to adamantly oppose voting for any measure that includes funding for the wall. Any legislation would need bipartisan support, so if enough Democrats vote against a measure to keep the government open, they might be able to force a government shutdown — and the government temporarily halting non-essential functions would be highly unpopular among Americans.
According to the poll, 61 percent oppose shutting down the government to obtain border wall funding. Meanwhile, just 28 percent support shutting down the government to fund the border wall. Eleven percent of respondents don't know or don't have an opinion about whether Trump should force a shutdown for wall funding.
Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult co-founder and chief research officer, reacted to the survey's findings, pointing out that Trump base generally supports a border wall, they are "split on whether it’s important enough to warrant a shutdown."
"Given how strong opposition is on the left, it’s not clear this is a winning issue for Trump to focus on," Dropp said, according to Politico.
(H/T: The Hill)