Polls On Government Shutdown: Most Americans Blame Republicans Instead Of Democrats

At least two new public opinion polls but the blame squarely on Republicans.

americans blame republicans for the government shutdown
Andrew Harnik / AP Images

At least two new public opinion polls but the blame squarely on Republicans.

As the government shutdown enters its third day, most Americans are willing to put the blame on Republicans rather than Democrats, according to two new public opinion polls released Monday.

As Variety reports, both Politico/Morning Consult and Washington Post/ABC News conducted polling last week to gauge Americans’ thoughts on the government shutdown. At the time, the shutdown wasn’t actually happening but was merely a possibility. As such, the polls asked respondents to look into a hypothetical future to see who would bear the blame if the government were to shut down.

Now that the hypothetical has become real, it appears that most Americans are willing to blame Republicans rather than Democrats.

How Did We Get Here?

At the heart of the issue are two immigration matters.

The first is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA), which addresses the legal status of some 700,000-800,000 (estimates vary) individuals who came to the country illegally as children, immigrating with their parents. Republicans and the Trump administration are strongly against the program and want it to end. Democrats, meanwhile, want the program to continue and have been attempting to insert language protecting the Dreamers (as they’re called) into any budget passed by the president.

The other is Trump’s border wall, which has been a key part of Trump’s agenda but which, so far, hasn’t materialized. Trump wants money for that wall, and Democrats aren’t willing to include it in a budget.

What Americans Think About The Shutdown

According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, almost half of Americans — 48 percent — said Trump and/or Republicans in Congress were to blame for the shutdown. Only 28 percent were prepared to assign the blame to Democrats.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll looked at matters even more closely and found that most Americans are basically split on the idea of shutting down the government over immigration issues. Forty-two percent say shutting down the government over DACA is worth it considering the stakes, while an equal number say it is not.

As for the border wall: According to the New York Post, 59 percent believe it’s not an issue worth shutting the government down over, but 27 say it is.

Who Will Come Out Ahead?

Meanwhile, the question of who stands to lose the most and who stands to gain the most, politically, from the shutdown remains unsettled. Government shutdowns have come and gone, and the lasting effect politically has always been difficult to measure. What’s more, midterm elections are two years away, and Trump continues to dominate the headlines on an almost hourly basis, meaning that the shutdown may be a distant memory for voters by this time next week.