Polling conducted over the last week indicates that Republican voters stuck with the president through the federal shutdown. The polling suggests that if the president wants to retain those voters going forward, he shouldn’t wait long before declaring a national emergency on the border.
Of 2,700 Trump voters surveyed by The Frontier Lab in collaboration Citizens for Self-Governance, only 43 percent perceived President Trump as the victor in political maneuvering that took place during the shutdown; 60 percent of Trump voters approved of ending the shutdown. An overwhelming 95 percent support the idea of Trump declaring a national emergency on the border.
Though this might surprise pundits, who have long been licking their lips over a possible chink in Trump’s armor, there was one person who presumably wasn’t surprised by the results.
“You know what else they say about my people? The polls, they say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that?” Trump said at a campaign stop.
He shouldn’t get so comfortable, because the top line numbers in polls rarely tell the whole story. As a grassroots political activist, I know the reported polling didn’t reveal underlying grassroots grumbling across the nation — unless you look more closely at the numbers. In the same poll, Trump voters gave him a 6.78 (out of a possible 7.00) level of support on January 1, and that’s barely dropped to 6.71 today – but would score him 3.82 if he fails to secure border security funds, a stunning drop of 43 percent.
In other words, his supporters don’t like the fact that Trump swerved on his base. We were the ones in the crowd cheering him on when he so gleefully told us he’d build a wall.
“And make Mexico pay for it,” we yelled back.
We loved Trump’s pugilistic streak, his disregard for political correctness. That, after all, is the cultural current we’re trying to fight against. Border walls work. We know this because the Secure Fence Act of 2006 providing hundreds of successful miles of secure fencing and infrastructure investments.
Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and others all supported this act, without one rhetorical objection raised. However, once Trump began advocating for the wall, a desire to protect our nation suddenly became – mysteriously – “racist.”
We understood the score. We weren’t fighting against immigrants or terrorist coming across the border undetected. We were fighting against inane political correctness. Again.
Thankfully, the president isn’t moved by such concerns. That’s why we voted for him. That’s why we had such hope. Sure, he backtracked on his constant demand that Mexico should pay for the wall — as well as his just-as-common “lock her up” campaign promise — but the wall was simple common sense, and non-negotiable. He’d make good on his promise even if it meant shutting down the government to do it.
When he called us out on the battlefield, we eagerly joined him. Then, the man who boasted he would be “proud” to shut down the government to get border security, who said he’d never fold on this issue, suddenly quit. He walked away from the fight and left millions of us on the battlefield of political warfare. In one fell swoop, with absolutely no notice, he gave into the much-maligned “swamp” and betrayed his base.
We’re left scratching our heads. Was he lying all along? Or is he just less competent in the “art of the deal” than he led us to believe? Either way, the polling proves that his supporters are going to hold his feet to the fire and Trump might not be as invulnerable as he likes to believe. He still has the support, but the foundation is quickly eroding.
Hopefully, he’ll change course, deliver on his promise, and stop acting like a before he finds out the hard way that voters don’t take kindly to the political manipulation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.