Sign up for a daily newsletter defining what matters in business and markets

Stories

This is why the shutdown won't end

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Note: Survey of U.S. adults. In 2018 the survey question changed from do you favor "building a wall along the entire border with Mexico" to "substantially expanding the wall along the border with Mexico"; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new poll by the Pew Research Center shows a big part of the reason why the standoff over funding President Trump's border wall has been so impossible to solve: Republican support for the wall is higher than at any time since Trump's election, while Democratic support has dwindled to almost nothing.

The big picture: When the divide has gotten this big, it's hard to see how the government shutdown ends. Although a majority of the public still opposes the wall, Republican support is so high that Trump and GOP leaders would face a furious backlash if they reopen the government with no wall funding. And Democrats would face an even stronger backlash if they agree to fund the wall.

By the numbers:

  • Overall, 58% of the public opposes expanding the wall along the border with Mexico, while 40% supports it.
  • And a slight majority — 51% — says funding the wall would be unacceptable even if that's the only way to end the shutdown. Just 29% say reopening the government without wall funding would be unacceptable.
  • But a clear majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents — 63% — don't want Trump and the GOP to end the shutdown without wall funding.
  • And an even stronger majority of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents — 84% — oppose ending the shutdown by funding the wall.

The bottom line: This is why our political system is so broken — and why federal workers are going to food banks.