Friday, January 18, 2019 | ePaper

A growing number of Americans blame Trump for shutdown: Poll

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden after a meeting with U.S. Congressional leaders about the U.S. government shutdown and border security at the White House in Washington.

Reuters, New York  :
A growing proportion of Americans blame President Donald Trump for a partial government shutdown that will cut off paychecks to federal workers this week, though Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget without taxpayer dollars for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
The national opinion poll, which ran from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, found that 51 percent of adults believe Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, which entered its 18th day on Tuesday. That is up 4 percentage points from a similar poll that ran from Dec. 21 to 25.
Another 32 percent blame congressional Democrats for the shutdown and 7 percent blame congressional Republicans, according to the poll. Those percentages are mostly unchanged from the previous poll. Trump has promised to keep the government partially closed until Congress approves funding for an expanded barrier along the border.
Illegal border crossings into the United States have declined dramatically in recent years, yet Trump insists a wall is still necessary to stem a "humanitarian and national security crisis" in the region.
The president has asked Congress for nearly $6 billion for the wall and was expected to make his case directly to the public on Tuesday night in a nationally televised address.
Democratic leaders in Congress have refused to approve funding for additional border fencing, saying that it is an ineffective way to secure the border.
Public support for a border wall has shifted considerably over the past few years as it became a centerpiece of the Trump agenda. The poll found that 41 percent of the public supports building additional border fencing, down 12 points from a similar poll that ran in the first week of 2015, as opposition doubled among Democrats.
It also found that only 35 percent of adults in the United States support a congressional spending bill that includes funding for the wall, and 25 percent support Trump's decision to keep the government closed until Congress approves funding for the wall.
Republicans, however, strongly support Trump's pursuit of an expanded border wall. They have consistently ranked immigration as their top concern for the country. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans said in the most recent poll that they want additional border fencing, and 54 percent said they support Trump shutting down the government until Congress approves funding for the wall.
More Reuters/Ipsos polls
Trump maintains that the border wall is needed to stem irregular immigration and the flow of illegal drugs across the border, branding the issue as a "humanitarian crisis" and security concern. But critics argue that the security risks are overblown and the Trump administration, who has implemented a "zero-tolerance" policy towards immigration, is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll, released on Tuesday, found that a growing proportion of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, though Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget without taxpayer dollars for a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The national opinion poll, which ran from January 1 to January 7, found that 51 percent of adults believe Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown. That is up four percentage points from a similar poll that ran from December 21 to 25.

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