Washington: Amid the longest government shutdown in the US history, a majority say President Donald Trump bears more responsibility for it than the Democrats in Congress, and the President’s disapproval rating has climbed five points since last month, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.
Negotiations between the US President and congressional leaders have stalled as neither side seems willing to budge on funding for a wall along the border with Mexico. That proposal remains deeply unpopular with the public, according to the poll.
Overall, 56 per cent oppose a wall, 39 per cent favour it. That’s almost exactly the same as in December. And less than half view the situation at the border as a crisis (45 per cent say it’s a crisis, 52 per cent that it is not).
Among those who do see the situation as a crisis, most feel that a border wall would help improve things. The subset who feels that way, however, amounts to only 31 per cent of the US adults, CNN reported.
All of these results are sharply divided along party lines. Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats oppose a wall along the border while 8 in 10 Republicans favour one. Seven in 10 Republicans say the situation at the border is a crisis and two-thirds believe a wall would fix it, while about three-quarters of Democrats say there is no crisis, and just 4% feel that there is one that a wall would help improve.
Overall, the President’s approval rating in the poll stands at 37 per cent approve to 57 per cent disapprove. Disapproval has risen five points since December, while his approval number has held roughly the same.
Trump’s current approval rating matches Ronald Reagan’s at this point in his presidency. January of 1983 was the only time during Reagan’s tenure when his approval rating fell below 40 per cent, according to Gallup. Trump has hit a low point of 35 per cent in CNN’s polling two times — in December 2017 and February 2018 — and has been at 40 per cent or above just nine times out of the 20 CNN has polled on it.
The increase in disapproval for the President comes primarily among whites without college degrees, 45 per cent of whom approve and 47 per cent disapprove, marking the first time his approval rating with this group has been underwater in CNN polling since February 2018.
In December, his approval rating with whites who have not received a four-year degree stood at 54%, with 39% disapproving. Among whites who do hold college degrees, Trump’s ratings are largely unchanged in the last month and remain sharply negative — 64 per cent disapprove and 32 per cent approve.
Those whites who do not have college degrees remain in favour of a wall along the border with Mexico (51 per cent favour it, 46 per cent oppose it), but they tilt toward blaming the President for the government shutdown (45 per cent say he is more responsible for it, 39 per cent the Democrats in Congress).
The public generally is more apt to blame the President, with 55 per cent saying he is more responsible for the shutdown than are Democrats in Congress, while 32% say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats. Another nine per cent say both are responsible.
Democrats are more unified in their blame for the President (89 per cent blame Trump) than are the Republican rank-and-file in blaming the Democrats (65 per cent of Republicans blame the Democrats in Congress, 23 per cent blame Trump).
Independents are more apt to blame Trump (48 per cent to 34 per cent), and are most likely to say both sides are responsible (14 per cent).
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS January 10 to 11 among a random national sample of 848 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.