Nearly 70 percent of those polled in a new survey say they would oppose President Trump declaring an emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed in The Hill-HarrisX survey conducted Jan. 12-13 said they do not want the president to designate the border a national emergency site. Just 31 percent of respondents said they wanted such a declaration.

Trump has been flirting with the declaration to get the wall built and end a partial government shutdown that on Saturday became the longest such closure in U.S. history. 

The president has given mixed signals on whether the would declare an emergency, and on Monday said he did not want to do so at this time.

“I’m not looking to call a national emergency,” he said. “This is so simple, we shouldn’t have to.”

The Hill-HarrisX poll shows widespread disapproval for the declaration, with men, women and every racial group surveyed disapproving. Voters across all regions of the country also were opposed.

Seventy-four percent of independent voters opposed the move, with just 26 percent approving. 

The only two demographic slices who backed a border emergency declaration are self-described “strong conservatives” who approved of it it 60 percent to 40 percent and Republicans who backed it by a smaller margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

The idea has thus far failed to gain support among Americans who describe themselves as leaning conservative; 55 percent of this group in the Hill-HarrisX sample opposed it while 45 percent supported it.

Voters “want Congress to work, and they want Congress to work with the president,” Carl Cannon, the executive editor of RealClearPolitics, said Monday on “What America’s Thinking,” Hill.TV’s show about public opinion and polling.

“When President Trump says ‘I’m going to declare an emergency,’ it strikes people as an attempt to circumvent Congress. They may think the thing at the border is a mess. It may be a crisis. But this word ’emergency’ became a legal word and people are wise to it,” he added.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted among 1,001 registered voters and is part of an ongoing project of Hill.TV to gauge public opinion about policy and current events. It has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

–Matthew Sheffield


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