Trump, GOP Would Pay Price for Government Shutdown Say Voters in Key Senate Districts in New Poll

Polling in 12 key battleground Senate districts shows strong support for protections for Dreamers in spending bill, opposition to funding for border wall—and that Trump and GOP will bear responsibility for a government shutdown.

Read the full memo here: 

Voters in Senate battleground states will blame Donald Trump and the Republican Party if there is a government shutdown, a new poll shows. The poll also finds that battleground states voters want any bill to fund the government to include protections for Dreamers, approve of Democratic opposition to a bill that fails to protect Dreamers, and reject Trump’s insistence on funding his border wall in exchange for protections for Dreamers.

The poll—commissioned by Civic Action, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and SEIU, and conducted by Hart Research Associates—included telephone interviews with voters in 12 key Senate battleground states (states that Trump won by an average of 11 percent in 2016): Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Findings from the poll include:

  • If there is a government shutdown because of an impasse over the government funding bill, most voters’ instincts will be to blame President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress.
    • “By an 11-point margin, voters believe intuitively—even before hearing any specific policy disagreements—that Donald Trump and congressional Republicans (42%) will be more to blame than Democrats (31%) if a shutdown occurs. Considering that Donald Trump carried these states by an average margin of 11 points, this extraordinary result reflects voters’ understanding that Republican leaders are far more willing than Democrats to cause a shutdown.”
  • There is a broad consensus that a government funding bill should include DACA protections for Dreamers.
    • “Fully 81% of battleground voters say a budget agreement should prevent the deportation of Dreamers by granting them legal status to remain in the country. … Support for protections is nearly as strong in red states, which voted for both Romney and Trump (79%), as in purple states that went for Obama and Trump (82%).”
  • Most voters oppose inclusion of spending for a Mexican border wall in a bill to fund the government, and they reject Trump’s insistence on funding for the wall in exchange for approving protections for Dreamers.
    • “A solid 57% majority oppose including funding for President Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border in a budget agreement, while just 41% favor it. … Even in a sample dominated by states won by Trump, 55% of voters disapprove of the Trump-GOP insistence on funding the border wall as a precondition for providing DACA protections.”

“This polling makes clear that if Trump shuts down the government while holding Dreamers hostage in exchange for advancing his racist policies, including the border wall, Trump and the Republican Party will be held responsible by the majority of voters in key states,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of Political Action. “After Trump rejected a bipartisan deal last week with racist and vulgar language, every Republican needs to choose between advancing his racist policies or passing a Dream Act and keeping our government open. Democrats must stand united in rejecting any temporary spending measures until Dreamers are protected, which the public overwhelmingly wants to see happen.”

“President Trump seems intent on rejecting the bipartisan solution before him. His bad-faith refusal to accept the deal, delivered with a racist tirade—denouncing what had, until now, been core American values around immigration—is likely to further cement the view in voters’ minds that Trump is unreasonable,” said Jennifer Palmieri, president, Center for American Progress Action Fund. “It is not enough to reject Trump’s racist words and at the same time be complicit in carrying forward his agenda. Elected officials have a clear choice to make—and the American people have little doubt about which choice is best.”

“Working people across this nation are demanding that President Trump and Republican members of Congress finally do their job and keep the government open while ensuring 800,000 Dreamers can continue to study and work in America,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “President Trump and the Republican-led Congress have had a full year to get this done, but instead they chose to pass tax giveaways for corporations and try to rip healthcare away from millions of people. If they don’t do their job, this poll makes clear that voters will hold them accountable in November.”

A full memo from Geoff Garin and Guy Molyneux of Hart Research Associates that provides an overview of the results follows:

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