The CNN poll was not brighter for Republicans. By a margin of 55 to 32 percent, the public blames Trump for the shutdown. A majority doesn’t consider the border a crisis, and “56% oppose a wall, 39% favor it.” (The Post/ABC shows 42 percent favor it, and 54 percent don’t.)
Furthermore, the CNN poll shows his approval/disapproval (37/57 percent) has worsened since last month, going from a net -13 to a net -20. Even more worrisome, “The increase in disapproval for the President comes primarily among whites without college degrees, 45% of whom approve and 47% disapprove, marking the first time his approval rating with this group has been underwater in CNN polling since February 2018. "
Trump’s escape hatch isn’t very popular either. “By more than 2-1 (66 percent to 31 percent), Americans say they oppose invoking an emergency to build a border wall,” the Post reports on the Post/ABC News results. “The poll finds 51 percent say they strongly oppose such a declaration. However, two-thirds of Republicans would support the president’s decision to use those powers.” Moreover, more Republicans senators (the latest, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, spoke up on Sunday to say he would “hate to see it” happen) are opposed to the emergency declaration, which with each passing day looks less plausible.
If you want to see how chaotic and incoherent Trump’s shutdown “strategy” (increasingly it’s clear there is none), one need look only at his most obedient mouthpiece these days, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C). Last week, he was hollering for an emergency declaration. On Sunday, he urged Trump to end the shutdown. No, really: “I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug,” he said on "Fox News Sunday." “See if we can get a deal. If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers.” Umm, reopening the government is exactly what Democrats want, so maybe Graham could prevail upon his majority leader to put the House funding bills on the floor.
Meanwhile, Trump pingpongs back and forth on whether to include the "dreamers" in any deal. He insists it is Democrats who won’t negotiate, but last week he was the one storming out of a meeting (“bye-bye”). Such an arrangement would certainly make any declaration of “emergency” an utter farce.
What is evident here, as in so many cases, is that Trump has impulses and craves approval from his base. He doesn’t have the negotiating skills or the foresight to figure out how he will get what he and his base want. He therefore is left stomping his foot and demanding Democrats bail him out. To end this, McConnell might have to do what Graham suggests — vote on spending bills to reopen the government. That of course would mean a big fat loss for Trump, but I’m sure he’ll figure out some way to convince (or have Sean Hannity convince) his cult-followers it is all five-dimensional chess.