CNN Poll of Polls: Trump approval takes hit mid-shutdown

Trump is facing historically bad numbers for re-election in 2020
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump was bragging this week about a surprising bump in one poll, but his optimism missed the fact that recent polling is in agreement that his approval ratings have taken a hit during the month-plus partial government shutdown and the public largely blames him for the country’s predicament.

On average, Trump’s approval rating in the month of January — during the longest shutdown in US history — stands at 37% approve and 57% disapprove, down from his average of 41% approve and 51% disapprove in late November to early December (pre-shutdown), according to a new CNN Poll of Polls released Wednesday.

CNN’s Poll of Polls is an average of surveys among adult Americans aggregated to give a more well-rounded view of public opinion.

But there are are noteworthy findings in the individual polls as well. CBS News released a poll Wednesday showing Trump with 36% approval, his lowest of all polls this month. Additionally, 71% of Americans said that building a wall along the border with Mexico isn’t worth shutting down the government, and most (61%) said the border can be secured without building a wall. Even the GOP isn’t totally behind the President on the issue; a majority of 56% of Republicans said the wall is worth shutting the government down and 43% said it isn’t. Seven-in-ten independents and 92% of Democrats agreed that it isn’t worth the shutdown.

With Trump’s approval on the downswing, the polls are also showing people blame him for the shutdown; in each of the four polls that asked respondents to place blame, majorities said blame lies with the President, while about a third in each poll cited Democrats in Congress as primarily responsible. As of Wednesday, the government shutdown has been going for 33 days and sets a new record each day. The Senate is set to convene Thursday to vote on two bills — one backed by Republicans and the other by Democrats. Both are expected to fail.

The two sides appear no closer to an agreement. Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi traded letters on whether he should be able to deliver a State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. She finally said she would not allow it as long as the government remains without funding.

At this point, not all Americans have a strong preference for how this shutdown ends, but more of those who do would prefer Trump cede to Democrats. Half in the CBS News poll said that they want Democrats in Congress to agree to a budget that includes wall funding and two-thirds want Trump to agree to the budget without the wall.

Perhaps the worst news for the President, around half said that Pelosi is doing a better job handling negotiations over the partial shutdown than Trump (35% in the CBS News poll said he’s doing a better job). While this is mostly driven by identity politics — 74% of Republicans said Trump, 79% of Democrats said Pelosi — independents swung for the Speaker of the House at 42%.

Trump has been