The average of polls taken since the shutdown began indicate that Americans are blaming Republicans for the shutdown. In the average, about 50% think Trump is most to blame, 35% think congressional Democrats are most to blame and about 5% think congressional Republicans are most to blame.
When you combine all the numbers together, about 55% blame Republicans (either Trump or congressional Republicans) and about just 35% blame Democrats for the shutdown.
Trump and congressional Republicans’ steady position is in large part because they continue to hold onto their base. In the average of polls, more than 80% of those who voted for Trump in 2016 say congressional Democrats are more to blame for the shutdown.
There is perhaps some sign, however, that Trump may be losing voters in the center of the electorate because of the shutdown. Before the shutdown began, Trump’s position on the shutdown was somewhat more unpopular than Trump’s overall approval rating.
The fact that Trump is losing the shutdown fight in the court of public opinion shouldn’t be a surprise. He came into the negotiations in a rather weak position.
Trump’s biggest issue is that he wants funding of a US-Mexico border wall. While that may be popular with his base, Americans have been consistently opposed to a border wall. Before the shutdown, they opposed it by about a 10-to-20 point margin. There’s no sign that’s changed in the latest polling.
Of course, for a President who has been satisfied with being popular only among his base, Trump having only the support of Republicans may be all he needs to not give into Democrats during this shutdown. On the other hand, Democrats have no reason to give into Trump with the public on their side.
The result could be an extended shutdown.