Accuracy in Media

CNN was forced to admit President Trump holds the upper hand when it comes to the politics of the government shutdown.

“With hours to go before a midnight deadline for Congress to fund the government or shut it down, most Americans say avoiding the shutdown is more important than passing a bill to maintain the program allowing people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay, according to a new CNN poll,” CNN polling director Jennifer Agiesta wrote in a story headlined “CNN poll: DACA not worth a shutdown, except to Democrats.”

The story led with negative news for Trump.

“About half of Americans” would blame either the president (21 percent) or Republicans in Congress (26 percent) for the shutdown, it said, but only a third (31 percent) would hold Democrats in Congress responsible.

Among Republicans, 62 percent blamed Democrats; among Democrats, 43 percent blamed Republicans and 29 percent blamed Trump.

But on the number that matters, those polled were solidly on Trump’s side.

According to CNN, 56 percent said that “approving a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing the DACA program, while just 34 percent choose DACA over a shutdown.” Among Democrats, only 49 percent said DACA was more important, compared to 42 percent who thought it was more important to keep open the government.

CNN acknowledges those numbers are making a difference. The House has approved a budget measure that includes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a popular liberal initiative, but nothing for DACA. Senate moderates offered their own proposal to reopen the government, and it also does not involve an extension of DACA.

Two-thirds of the way down the story, CNN revealed another finding in its poll – Trump’s approval rating has climbed five points since its previous poll to 40 percent.

“Neither the president nor Congress is particularly popular, according to the poll, with Trump’s approval rating at a net-negative 40 percent approve to 55 percent disapprove, and Congress meriting just 18 percent approval, with 76 percent disapproving. That’s the worst rating in CNN polling on the legislative branch since the start of this Congress last January.”

A year into his presidency, CNN notes, Trump’s overall approval rating is the worst of any president in the modern era of polling, following even Ronald Reagan, whose 47 percent rating in 1982 preceded his 49-state landslide victory in 1984.

Pat Caddell, a Democratic pollster who rose to fame working on Jimmy Carter’s campaign in 1976, said Democrats understood in December that it was a bad idea politically to shut down the government over DACA, but they since have “lost control” of their base and membership and are now “locked in” by their support of DACA.

“Yes, DACA itself is very popular, but so are the positions that Trump has laid out that also need to be part of any deal,” Caddell said on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Tonight. “Those are also popular. Sanctuary cities are not popular. Simply amnesty by itself is not popular. Most of all, protecting the border is popular, whether people like the idea of a wall or not.”

Caddell said Trump should accuse the Democrats in the Senate who caused the shutdown of voting for what is good for party leaders as opposed to the rest of the nation.

“They don’t vote independently. They don’t vote for the interests of Missouri or Michigan or Wisconsin, and they certainly don’t vote necessarily for the country’s interests as their electorates might see it.”




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