Poll: Voters overwhelmingly approve of border deal, want Trump to sign it

Registered voters overwhelmingly want President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE to sign a bipartisan border security bill ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

Sixty percent of respondents in the Feb. 12-13 survey said they want Trump to approve a border compromise negotiated by a bicameral conference committee that includes $1.38 billion for fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Twenty-four percent said they want the president to accept the budget framework to avoid a shutdown and then declare a national emergency to expand the border barrier, while 16 percent said they want Trump to hold out for a better deal, even if it might result in another partial government shutdown.

All of the main provisions of the border compromise bill — including Department of Homeland Security funding and erecting a fence but not a concrete wall — received support from a majority of respondents.

The larger framework was backed by all demographic and political groups, including 76 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents.

The online poll consists of responses from 999 registered voters and has a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The strong level of support by Republican voters comes amid harsh criticism of the legislation by anti-immigration conservatives who have urged Trump to reject the deal.

Commentator Ann Coulter on Tuesday said the president is "afraid" to fight for a border wall.

"Trump talks a good game on the border wall but it's increasingly clear he's afraid to fight for it," she wrote, referring to the border compromise as a "Yellow New Deal."

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Trump, allies pressured DOJ to back election claims, documents show MORE (R-N.C.), head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, criticized the budget deal Wednesday in a Twitter post, accusing Congress of "not doing its job."

Trump has not indicated what action he will take but in Wednesday remarks to reporters he said a shutdown "would be a terrible thing."

"Go ahead and take this deal, claim victory on the 1.3 billion and change and then talk about what he's going to do next," Ryan Streeter, director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute said Wednesday on "What America's Thinking," Hill.TV's show about public opinion and polling.

"Republicans are very loyal to this president, so if he goes that way and then we go back to field with another poll and ask people if they think it was the right thing, my guess is that most Republicans will say they think it's the right thing, even those right now who say they don't want him to do it," Streeter added.

In a Feb. 9-10 Hill-HarrisX survey, 33 percent of Republican voters said they would be less likely to support the president if he were to abandon a border wall in favor of pursuing other measures to enhance security. Forty-six percent said such a change would not impact their opinion of Trump, and 22 percent said they would be more likely to support him.

—Matthew Sheffield