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Poll: Americans Think the Shutdown Is A Bigger Issue Than the Border

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A new poll finds that many voters see the partial government shutdown as an even bigger problem than the border and are blaming President Trump more than congressional Democrats for it.


According to the Fox News Poll, there is increased support for the border wall, 43 percent, which is four points higher than in September, but a majority of Americans (51 percent) oppose building the structure.

When respondents were asked to describe the shutdown and the border as either an emergency/major problem or minor problem, 75 percent described the shutdown as a major problem—higher than the 59 percent who said the border situation is a major problem.

The survey also found that more blame for the partial government shutdown was placed on President Trump (51 percent) than on Democrats in Congress (34 percent).

The perceived gravity of the shutdown doesn’t translate into a bipartisan urgency to end it.  Rather, more than one third of wall opponents (37 percent) want Democrats to keep the government shuttered until Trump gives in, while two-thirds of pro-wall voters (69 percent) want Trump to keep the government shut until Democrats give in.

“One interesting dynamic is the pro-wall people are much more likely to want to go the distance on the shutdown than the anti-wall people,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “It seems the Democrats would pay a lesser price for compromising, but many Democratic lawmakers think compromising would encourage Trump to play brinksmanship again on other issues.” (


President Trump announced Wednesday night that he would deliver his State of the Union address when the shutdown ends—a move that comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancelled the address earlier in the day, citing the shutdown. The two had gone back and forth over the speech, with Pelosi initially inviting the president during the shutdown, then reneging citing security concerns. Trump called her bluff and had planned to deliver the speech up until Pelosi's latest move on Wednesday. 

The survey of 1,008 registered voters was conducted nationwide from January 20-22 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. 

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