Trump Voters Still Expect Him To Build A Wall And Make Mexico Pay For It

That doesn't necessarily mean they'll turn on him without one.
President Donald Trump makes a statement on the possible government shutdown in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump makes a statement on the possible government shutdown in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump’s voters still very much expect him to build a border wall and hand Mexico the bill, according to a poll taken largely before the latest shutdown controversy began brewing.

Sixty-three percent of voters who supported Trump in the 2016 election believe that he is likely to fulfill his campaign promise to build the wall, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, with just 22 percent believing he’s unlikely to do so. Another 4 percent believe the wall has already been built, while the remainder is unsure. Their level of confidence has remained largely stable over polls taken during the past two years.

Trump voters also say it’s important for the wall to be built: Thirty-nine percent list it among the three promises they most want to see the president fulfill, tying it with “draining the swamp” for first place.

What this means for the wall’s importance to Trump’s political future is debatable. It suggests that the rhetoric around its construction remains powerfully motivational to his base. But it also suggests that as long as Trump continues to press the issue, his voters may well believe it remains a possibility.

And another part of the survey offers one hint to what might happen if Trump abandoned his quest for the wall. In September of last year, nearly half of his voters said repealing the Affordable Care Act was a top priority, and 81 percent expected him to deliver. But as Republicans largely abandoned the idea, the importance Trump voters placed on it faded as well. In the most recent poll, only 47 percent expect the president to achieve a repeal of the health law (another 15 percent now believe that he already has). But only a third now say that his doing so is especially important. Trump voters’ fervor for the wall, in other words, may to some extent reflect the attention that the White House currently lavishes on the idea.

Seven hundred days into Trump’s presidency, his voters have largely moved from expecting him to fulfill his campaign promises to believing that he already has done so. Fifty-six percent of Trump voters now say he has lived up to most of what he promised, and another 36 percent say that he’s likely to do so. The first group is dominated by staunch Republicans, and more likely to identify as “strongly conservative;” the second group is somewhat less vehemently ideological or tethered to the party.

A slim majority of Trump voters now believe the president has succeeded in bringing manufacturing jobs back. Just 8 percent think he has already “drained the swamp” in Washington, but another 50 percent still expect him to do so.

Americans Divided On Whether Trump Will Eventually Fulfill Campaign Promises

Trump’s numbers are, unsurprisingly, less rosy among the full American public, just 23 percent of whom believe he has already fulfilled his campaign promises. Another 22 percent expect him to do so eventually, for a combined 45 percent who think that he has or will have achieved his campaign goals by the time he leaves office. Forty-one percent believe he’s unlikely ever to do so.

Americans’ top priorities for Trump are to bring back manufacturing jobs (33 percent) and to “drain the swamp” (24 percent). A 46 percent plurality believe he has succeeded or will succeed on manufacturing, but just 28 percent say the same about his promise to rid Washington of corruption. Few Americans overall either want or expect a border wall ― only a third think Trump has already gotten his wall, or that he’s likely to do so.

Most voters still feel good about their choices in 2016. Just 4 percent of Trump voters, and an equal percentage of Clinton voters, say they regret their vote in the last presidential election. About a quarter of non-voters say they wished they had cast a ballot in the election.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 11-12 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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