A majority of voters (56%) would prefer President Donald Trump compromise on funding the border wall rather than causing a government shutdown, according to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. While only 29% of Republicans favor a compromise, 71% of Democrats and 63% of Independents prefer compromise over a shutdown.
Some may think Immigration and Border Wall debates are most polarizing with groups like Latinos. Latinos actually mirror the national numbers, with 52% favoring compromise and 36% saying the president should not compromise on funding the border wall. Soft Republicans are split (46% compromise/48% no compromise) while Soft Democrats overwhelmingly favor compromise (79%-13%), as do majorities of both Independent men (61%-34%) and Independent women (64%-29%). White college graduates (66%-28%) and suburban voters (67%-27%) favor compromise. Some Republican candidates had trouble with these voting blocs in the Midterms and need to work to win them back, especially suburban women, who favor compromise 67%-26%. These groups that the GOP can and must win back in order to regain the House are not favorable to Republican leaders shutting down the government.
Not all of the president’s base prefer no compromise. While a majority of rural voters favor border wall funding without compromise, even if it means a shutdown (39% compromise-51% no compromise), another key part of President Trump’s 2016 coalition – white non-college graduates and voters in the South – are not as receptive to a shut down. While nationally, 46% percent of white non-college graduates favor compromise on the wall to prevent gridlock and 47% say the president should not compromise, even if it means a shutdown, in the South, 54% of voters favor a compromise compared to 40% who do not.
No matter what direction the Administration goes, it will be important for Republicans to be seen trying hard to find a clear solution so voters don’t blame both parties if a shutdown occurs.