Before deal was struck, most Americans thought shutdown was likely

Most Americans thought Congress was heading for a shutdown before a preliminary deal was struck last week, according to Hill-HarrisX poll published on Monday. 

The nationwide survey, which was conducted Dec. 8-9, just before lawmakers reached a deal to avert a shutdown, showed that 61 percent of registered voters said they thought was either “somewhat” or “very likely” that Congress was heading for a government shutdown. Another 39 percent said they thought a shutdown was “somewhat” or “very unlikely.”

Democrats were more inclined to say that Congress was on the brink of a shutdown. Seventy-one percent of Democratic voters said they thought there would be a government shutdown, compared to 55 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents.

The survey comes as lawmakers are expected to introduce a year-end government spending deal late Monday. This comes after top House and Senate negotiators reached a deal in principle last Thursday, with staffers hammering out the details over the weekend. 

The bill is expected to address a broad range of issues, including everything from coal miners’ health care to election security and the border wall. 

A provision, spearheaded by Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Manchin, Murkowski call for bipartisan Voting Rights Act reauthorization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (D-W.Va.), is aimed at preserving the health benefits and pensions for tens of thousands of coal miners.

The stopgap spending bill also reportedly includes $425 million for election security, which has become a major issue in recent years following Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.

President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE's long-promised border wall, meanwhile, got a boost. Three congressional sources have said that lawmakers have also agreed on $1.375 billion to build physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online among 1,000 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

— Tess Bonn