Americans are split on feelings toward border wall, poll shows

Americans are split on their feelings toward building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, according to a new Hill-HarrisX survey. 

Thirty-four percent said a border wall was "the best path for making America safer at its borders," while 31 percent said it was "totally unnecessary and not worth the expense."  

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they believed that Americans need border security, but there are "better options" for securing the border. 

The survey comes as the partial government shutdown enters its 13th day. The shutdown began Dec. 22 over an impasse between lawmakers and the White House over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE's demand for billions of dollars in border wall funding.

Trump has shown no indication of letting up on his demands for $5 billion for a border wall, telling members of his Cabinet on Wednesday that the U.S. "needs a physical barrier." 

Meanwhile, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reaffirmed in an interview that Democrats plan to give Trump "nothing for the wall."

"What we've seen is that people have turned against a wall now that they associate [it] with Donald Trump, and they see it as symbolic for what they view as his animus toward immigrants," Emily Ekins, polling director at the Cato Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"Now people who support the president would say that's not what this is about, this is just about border security," she continued. 

The latest Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted Dec. 30 through 31 and is part of an ongoing project of The Hill's new online TV division, Hill.TV, and the HarrisX polling company that asks 1,000 registered voters a day about issues of public policy and current events. The latest poll has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

— Julia Manchester