By a wide margin, Americans blame the longest government shutdown in U.S. history on President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll published Sunday.
The partial shutdown affects about a quarter of the U.S. government and approximately 800,000 federal workers. Now in its fourth week, the shutdown is the result of an impasse between the president and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall, which Trump promised during the 2016 campaign.
When asked, “Who do you think is mainly responsible for this situation?” 53 percent of Americans told pollsters they blamed Trump and congressional Republicans. A much smaller 29 percent blamed Democrats and another 13 percent said both sides were equally responsible. Four percent had no opinion.
On Saturday, Trump indicated during a Fox News interview that he believed it was himself, not the Democrats, who was winning the battle for public opinion over the shutdown and the wall.
“I’m ready, willing and able to get a deal done. But they don’t,” he said, referring to congressional Democrats. “They think it’s politics. I think it’s bad politics. This country wants to have protection at the border.”
Unsurprisingly, there was a wide partisan divide in opinion. While 85 percent of Democrats blamed Trump and congressional Republicans, 68 percent of Republican voters blamed congressional Democrats. Among Republicans, 15 percent blamed Trump and their own party and another 15 percent blamed both sides equally. Independents blamed Trump and Republicans over Democrats by a 30-point margin.
Respondents were essentially split on whether Democrats should reach a compromise that included funding of Trump’s wall in order to reopen the government. Forty-eight percent said to continue denying the president’s request, even if it extended the shutdown, while 45 percent said they should compromise to end it.
A majority, 54 percent, said they oppose the construction of a border wall, while 42 percent said they are in favor of it. Among those who support the wall, 52 percent said the president should keep demanding the funds even if it prolongs the shutdown. Forty-one percent favored compromise.
Trump had floated the idea of declaring a national emergency and using the powers granted to the president under an emergency to go around Congress to secure the funds for the wall. Two-thirds of respondents said they opposed such a move. Only 24 percent said the current border situation amounts to a “crisis” while 47 percent said it is “a serious problem, but not a crisis” and 26 percent said it is not a serious problem.
Although 82 percent said the shutdown has not affected them personally, 38 percent said the shutdown would constitute a “crisis” if it continues and another 41 percent said it would be a serious problem but not a crisis. Eighteen percent said an ongoing shutdown would not be a serious problem.
The poll of 788 Americans was conducted from Jan 8-11 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Americans blame shutdown on Trump over Democrats by wide margin, poll finds