President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego.
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

On emergency declaration, Americans aren’t buying what Trump’s selling


The Rachel Maddow Show, 2/18/19, 9:57 PM ET

Trump's dubious emergency declaration sparks nationwide protests

Rachel Maddow reports on protests around the United States against Donald Trump’s dubious declaration of an emergency at the southern border to justify re-appropriating federal money for his wall.
When Donald Trump demanded a border wall, he failed to persuade the American mainstream. When the president launched the nation’s longest-ever government shutdown in pursuit of his unnecessary goal, the American mainstream again balked.

And now that the Republican has issued a legally dubious emergency declaration, Trump is once again discovering that the public isn’t following his lead.

A majority of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the latest poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.

Sixty-one percent of U.S. adults said they do not approve of the president’s national emergency, while 36 percent say they support it. Another 3 percent of respondents said, in the days following Trump’s Friday announcement in the Rose Garden, that they were unsure of how they felt.

The same poll found that a majority of Americans (58%) do not believe there’s a national emergency along the U.S./Mexico border, while a similar percentage of the public believe the president did, in fact, misuse his power when he granted himself powers to redirect funds toward a wall project.

This is very much in line with recent polls conducted before last week’s announcement – CNN, Fox News, Washington Post/ABC News, et al – each of which found broad public skepticism about the president’s plans for a national emergency declaration.

Of course, that was before Americans heard his pitch, and saw the White House’s allies fan out to defend the president’s plan, touting its virtues.

And after having heard Trump make his best case, a leading national poll found 61% of Americans balking at the Republican’s gambit.

This president may have qualities that helped him reach this point, but persuasion isn’t one of them. To date, there isn’t any aspect of Trump’s agenda that became popular after he presented it.

Donald Trump and Polling

On emergency declaration, Americans aren't buying what Trump's selling