On Friday, President Trump vetoed a measure to block his national emergency declaration. The measure passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.
Numerous polls suggest Trump’s decision was popular among his Republican base. But his decision to use executive authority to fund a wall along the southern border is opposed by a clear majority of the public.
That is reflected in six polls taken from early January to early March. By roughly a 2-to-1 margin, Americans oppose Trump’s decision to use emergency powers to build a border wall. That’s a wider margin than the Senate resolution to overturn Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, which passed 59 to 41.
Opinions on emergency declaration:
|Poll||Support/Approve/Should make||Oppose/Disapprove/Should not make|
|NBC-Wall Street Journal*||39%||60%|
*NBC-WSJ among registered voters, all others among U.S. adults.
The most recent poll on the issue comes from Monmouth University and was in the field between March 1 and 4. Monmouth found 65 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump “declaring a national emergency in order to use funding designated for the U.S. military to build a wall along the Mexican border.”
In January, Monmouth asked a similar question but didn’t include the part about “using designated military funds to pay for the wall.” Opinion barely budged between then and now. Disapproval now is 65 percent vs. 33 percent approval; then it was 64 to 34.
Across the months, questions with slightly different wording generated nearly identical results. Near the end of February, an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll found 60 percent of registered voters disapproved of “Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency” “to build a wall of over 200 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border.” Shortly before that, NPR-PBS NewHour-Marist found 61 percent who disapproved of “Trump declaring a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Looking to the beginning of February, CNN found 66 percent of respondents agreed Trump “should not declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the border with Mexico.” And a Washington Post-ABC News poll from early January found an identical 66 percent who opposed “Trump using emergency powers to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.” The Post-ABC poll question included language saying, “Presidents can declare a state of national emergency, giving them special powers to take action without approval from Congress.”
The emergency declaration is quite unpopular among Democrats and most independents, though it is favored by a majority of Republicans. In the most recent Monmouth poll, 93 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents disapproved of Trump declaring a national emergency, while 73 percent of Republicans approved. Those opinions were largely consistent with January’s Monmouth poll, in which 93 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents disapproved while 71 percent of Republicans approved.
The disapproval resolution that passed the House last month, the Senate’s similar bipartisan rebuke that passed this week and the consistently held public opinion show opposition far outweighs support for the president’s emergency resolution.
Scott Clement contributed to this report.