More Americans blaming Trump for government shutdown

President Trump went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to shore up support for his border wall as some of his fellow Republicans in Congress appeared to waver, as a government shutdown drags on.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to keep the government partially closed until Congress approves the US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) funding for the steel barrier.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to keep the government partially closed until Congress approves the US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) funding for the steel barrier.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • A growing proportion of Americans blame US President Donald Trump for a partial government shutdown that will cut off pay cheques to federal workers this week, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

However, Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget without taxpayer dollars for the US-Mexico border wall, showed the poll, which was released on Tuesday.

The national opinion poll, which ran from Jan 1 to Jan 7, found that 51 per cent of adults believe Mr Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, which entered its 19th day yesterday.

That is up 4 percentage points from a similar poll that ran from Dec 21 to 25.

Another 32 per cent blame congressional Democrats for the shutdown and 7 per cent blame congressional Republicans, according to the poll. Those percentages are mostly unchanged from the previous poll.

Mr Trump has pledged to keep the government partially closed until Congress approves the US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) funding for the steel barrier.

  • 51% 

    Percentage of adults, from a national opinion poll which ran from Jan 1 to Jan 7, who believe Mr Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, which entered its 19th day yesterday.

 
 
 

Illegal border crossings into the United States have declined dramatically in recent years, yet, Mr Trump insists a wall is still necessary to stem a "humanitarian and national security crisis" in the region.

Public support for a border wall has shifted considerably over the past few years as it became a centrepiece of the Trump agenda. The poll found that 41 per cent of the public support 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 per cent of adults in the US support a congressional spending Bill that includes funding for the wall, and just 25 per cent support Mr Trump's decision to keep the government closed until Congress approves funding for the wall.

The Reuters-Ipsos poll was conducted online throughout the US. It gathered responses from 2,203 adults, including 722 Republicans and 867 Democrats. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 2 percentage points.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2019, with the headline 'More Americans blaming Trump for govt shutdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe