Polls: Voters Oppose Trump On Shutdown By Wide Margins In Key 2020 Senate States

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 5: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) walks to the Senate floor for a cloture vote on the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, at the U.S. Capitol, October 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Senate voted 51-49 in a procedural vote to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Voters disagree with President Trump’s demand for border wall funding by double-digit margins in seven key Senate swing states, according to new polling conducted for a coalition of liberal groups.

The surveys suggest that the ongoing shutdown could hurt a number of Republicans facing 2020 reelection fights in the states that will likely determine who controls the Senate after the next election — including in some GOP-leaning states.

The surveys were conducted by Public Policy Polling for the liberal MoveOn.Org and the pro-immigration group Immigration Hub.

In Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina, voters disagree with Trump by double-digit margins that “government should be kept closed until he gets funding for the wall.” Voters also oppose spending billions to construct a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in all seven states, though those numbers are a bit closer. And voters in all seven states say by double-digit margins that their Republican senator’s support of Trump on this issue is making them less, not more, likely to vote for their reelection.

Trump’s job approval rating is also upside down in all seven states. Voters say they disapprove than approve of the job Trump is doing as president by 16-point margins in Colorado and Maine, and voters disapprove of Trump’s job performance by narrower three- to seven-point margins in the other five states.

That’s not good news for Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), David Perdue (R-GA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), all of whom are up for election next year. It also shows where the political pressure is likely to build the most in the Senate as the shutdown continues.

Collins, Gardner and Sullivan’s Alaska colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), are the Republican senators who’ve been most vocally critical of the GOP strategy during the shutdown. Ernst and Perdue have stood with Trump. Tillis has looked for a way out by suggesting trading wall funding for a permanent solution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, while Sullivan and McSally haven’t been looking to make news on the issue.

A few caveats: PPP’s random-digit dialing is not top pollsters’ preferred methodology, and they only conducted surveys over two days rather than three or more, as more reliable polls do. A complex issue like this is also difficult to poll, and the wording of the questions PPP used may have led to worse numbers for Trump and the GOP than other questions. And even if these numbers are dead on, in past years shutdowns have hurt one party temporarily before their effects quickly faded, long before the actual elections.

There have been few recent national polls of the sensitive issue, but the available numbers indicate that many more voters are blaming Trump and the GOP than Democrats for the ongoing shutdown.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released earlier this week found that 47 percent of voters say Trump is mostly to blame for the shutdown, another 5 percent blamed congressional Republicans, and just 33 percent blamed congressional Democrats.

The full state-by-state toplines from PPP:

Do you agree or disagree with President Trump that the government should be kept closed until he gets funding for the wall? 

Do you support or oppose President Trump’s demand that Congress spend billions in taxpayer dollars to build a wall along the southern border? 

  • Alaska: 47% support; 51% oppose
  • Arizona: 44% support; 54% oppose
  • Colorado: 42% support; 56% oppose
  • Georgia: 48% support; 48% oppose
  • Iowa: 45% support; 51% oppose
  • Maine: 40% support; 57% oppose
  • North Carolina: 48% support; 51% oppose

Does (your Republican Senator’s) support of President Trump’s plan to keep the government closed if he doesn’t get funding for a border wall make you more or less likely to support her/him in his next election, or does it not make a difference? 

  • Alaska (Sullivan): 41% more likely; 50% less likely
  • Arizona (McSally): 37% more likely; 50% less likely
  • Colorado (Gardner): 37% more likely; 49% less likely
  • Georgia (Perdue): 41% more likely; 51% less likely
  • Iowa (Ernst): 37% more likely; 49% less likely
  • Maine (Collins): 32% more likely; 53% less likely
  • North Carolina (Tillis): 42% more likely; 48% less likely
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