Trump’s national emergency declaration opposed by majority of Americans, polls find

Polls consistently show Democrats and independents strongly disagree with calling emergency over border

Emily Guskin
Saturday 16 March 2019 15:09 GMT
Trump speaks in Oval Office after signing his first veto

Donald Trump has vetoed a measure to block his national emergency declaration.

The measure passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support on Friday.

Numerous polls suggest Mr Trump's decision was popular among his Republican base. But his decision to use executive authority to fund a wall along the southern border is opposed by a clear majority of the public.

That is reflected in seven polls taken from early January to early March. By roughly a 2-to-1 margin, Americans oppose Mr Trump's decision to use emergency powers to build a border wall. That is a wider margin than the Senate resolution to overturn Mr Trump's declaration of national emergency, which was passed by a 59-to-41 vote margin.

The most recent poll on the issue comes from Monmouth University and was in the field between 1-4 March.

Monmouth found 65 per cent of Americans disapproved of Mr Trump "declaring a national emergency in order to use funding designated for the US military to build a wall along the Mexican border."

In January, Monmouth asked a similar question, but did not include the part about "using designated military funds to pay for the wall". Opinion barely budged between then and now: disapproval now is 65-33, then it was 64-34.

Across the months, questions with slightly different wording generated nearly identical results.

Near the end of February, an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll found 60 per cent of registered voters disapproved of "Trump's decision to declare a national emergency… to build a wall of over 200 miles along the US-Mexico border."

Shortly before that, NPR-PBS News Hour-Marist found 61 per cent who disapproved of "Trump declaring a national emergency to build a wall along the US-Mexico border."

Looking back to the beginning of February, CNN found 66 per cent of respondents agreed Mr Trump "should not declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the border with Mexico." And a Washington Post-ABC News poll from early January found an identical 66 per cent who opposed "Trump using emergency powers to build a wall along the US-Mexico border."

The Post-ABC poll question included language saying that "Presidents can declare a state of national emergency, giving them special powers to take action without approval from Congress."

The emergency declaration is unpopular among Democrats and most independents, though it is favoured by a majority of Republicans.

In the most recent Monmouth poll, 93 per cent of Democrats and 71 per cent of independents disapproved of Mr Trump declaring a national emergency while 73 per cent of Republicans approved. Those opinions were largely consistent from January's Monmouth poll when 93 per cent of Democrats and 66 per cent of independents disapproved while 71 per cent of Republicans approved.

Between the disapproval resolution that passed the House last month, the Senate's similar bipartisan rebuke that passed this week and the consistently-held public opinion, opposition far outweighs support for the president's emergency resolution.

The Washington Post

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