With the shutdown now in week three, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer thought they had Trump cornered.
The Democratic Congressional Leaders were certain that Trump would cave, or that public opinion would punish the President for the shutdown.
But the tables were turned when Pelosi and Schumer got the worst news of their careers.
The shutdown is the hottest topic in Washington, and it isn’t difficult to see why.
With the budget crisis now entering its third week, the current shutdown now stands as the second longest in American history.
This, combined with Nancy Pelosi’s recent retaking of the House of Representatives, has left Congressional Democrats smiling.
When the shutdown first began, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer had reason to think that the whole ordeal would blow up in President Trump’s face.
And the numbers suggest that it initially did.
538’s Nate Silver, who was among the few political pundits who didn’t give Hillary Clinton 90% odds to win in 2016, broke down public polling regarding the shutdown.
And the results are bad news for Congressional Democrats.
538 reports, “The [latest] surveys all pointed toward the same conclusion: In the minds of most Americans, Trump was largely to blame. But public opinion may be changing. Those three polls were all conducted before Christmas, when the shutdown was just a few days old.”
Since Christmas, a new batch of polls have come out.
Last week, a poll conducted by the liberal outlet Huffington Post showed that more people disapproved of Congress’ reaction to the shutdown than they did of President Trump.
What’s more, while 49% of Americans disapproved of Trump’s handling of the shutdown, 51% — a majority – disapproved of Congressional Democrats’ handling.
In short, more Americans disapprove of the way Democrats are handling the shutdown than they do President Trump.
The news gets worse for Pelosi and Schumer.
While the public initially blamed Trump for causing the shutdown, they are clearly divided on the question of who continues to drag it on and make the situation worse.
And the numbers suggest that the American public is leaning towards blaming Democrats for dragging the shutdown on longer than it needed to.
A similar poll conducted just before Christmas showed Trump and Congressional Republicans deep in the hole of public opinion regarding the shutdown.
Those numbers have since improved for the President, while they’ve only gotten worse for Congressional Democrats.
While the President’s approval rating has dipped in the wake of the shutdown, 538 estimates that he won’t be dealt with much lasting effects once the budget crisis inevitably ends.
“Our analysis of polls after the 1995-1996 and 2013 shutdowns found that other news events quickly overtook them. Indeed, by just one month after the 1995-1996 and 2013 shutdowns, any changes in the polls that had occurred during the shutdowns had vanished,” writes 538.
“After the January 2018 shutdown, Trump’s approval rating recovered in two weeks, and generic-ballot polling barely budged at all. In the small sample size we have, shutdowns just don’t seem to have a long-term effect on public opinion,” the statistics website concludes.
While it’s unclear whether or not these trends will affect the position of Congressional Democrats who remain adamantly opposed to building a wall and securing the border with Mexico, the analysis from 538 is surely good news for President Trump.
We will keep you up to date with any new developments in this ongoing story.