The Slatest

Americans Are Blaming Trump for Shutdown That Is Likely to Last Into 2019

The U.S. Capitol and a red stoplight.
The U.S. Capitol is seen during a government shutdown in Washington on Thursday. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images

As the partial government shutdown drags on, more Americans are blaming President Donald Trump than Democrats in Congress. Forty-seven percent of Americans say Trump is responsible for the shutdown, while 33 percent blame Democrats, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll that was conducted Dec. 21–25. Trump has expressed pride that the government has shut down due to his demand for a border wall, but only 35 percent say that should be included in a congressional spending bill. And only one-quarter of Americans say they support Trump’s decision to shut down the government over the issue.

There are also signs that the shutdown is costing Trump some popularity points. A Dec. 21–23 survey by Morning Consult found that only 39 percent of registered voters approved of the president’s job performance while 56 percent disapprove. This marks the lowest approval rating for the president since August 2017, when Trump refused to strongly condemn the far-right protesters who had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Despite the general unpopularity of the shutdown, there is no sign that it will be ending any time soon and now it looks likelier than ever that it will last into the new year. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives were told Thursday not to expect any votes this week. For now Democrats are working to draft legislation that would reopen the government once they take control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3.

Trump also made it clear Thursday he is in no rush to compromise and sent at least six wall-related tweets blaming Democrats for the “OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed Wall.” He also wondered whether Democrats “realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” In a subsequent tweet he referred to a manhunt going on in California for a man accused of shooting a police officer to death as an example of why the wall is needed. “Time to get tough on Border Security,” Trump wrote. “Build the Wall!”