President Trump used an address Monday to the American Farm Bureau convention to dig in on his call for a border wall, even as new polling indicates most Americans oppose his administration’s strategy of demanding money for the U.S.-Mexico barrier in exchange for ending the partial government shutdown.
Speaking in New Orleans, Trump said there was “no substitute” for a physical barrier along the southern border with Mexico and accused Democrats of playing politics in refusing to negotiate on the issue.
“They think if they stop me, it’ll be good for 2020,” Trump said of Democrats in Congress. “We need that barrier. … If you don’t have that barrier there, there is not a thing you can do.”
But as the partial shutdown enters its fourth week and hundreds of thousands of federal workers miss their first paychecks, fresh polling suggests the president is losing the battle of public opinion.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 63 percent of voters agree with the Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security, with 30 percent opposed. The same poll found 63 percent also oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding, with just 32 percent supporting.
The poll found that 56 percent of American voters blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the partial shutdown, compared with 36 percent who say Democrats are responsible.
An earlier Washington Post-ABC News poll also found more Americans blame Trump and the Republicans than the Democrats over the stalemate — though the same survey showed support for a wall growing to 42 percent, up from 34 percent a year ago.