Chris White on January 21, 2018
Democrats conducted a poll in states President Donald Trump won in 2016 to determine what would happen if a shutdown was tied to immigration, according to a report Sunday from The Washington Post.
A Super PAC allied with Senate Democrats commissioned a poll in 12 battleground states to determine which party would be blamed if a shutdown was tied to the legal status of dreamers. The poll found Democrats absorb most of the blame in such a scenario.
The poll, which was conducted in December by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on behalf of Senate Majority PAC, also found that blame for a shutdown would be split between Trump and Republicans, and Democrats in Congress, WaPo reported.
The results of the survey might help explain the all-out ad blitz Democrats conducted shortly after the government shutdown. Democratic affiliated groups are working overtime trying to shore up support for Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown of Ohio after both sided with their parties during the budget fiasco.
Democrats, who knew the attacks were coming, have blasted conservative states with videos and online ads that point to muddled quotes Trump made in 2013 and 2017 about how a government shutdown would be beneficial for his party. Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, for instance, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a digital ad buy targeting swing seats.
“What’s President Trump up to?” asks a narrator in the ad, which is spliced together with images evoking national security concerns connected to a government shutdown. “He says our country needs a good government shutdown.”
Republican and Democratic leaders, for their part, have not stopped talking through their differences. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, for instance, said late Friday night that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before the weekend concludes. But little headway has been made since.
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Both parties took substantial risks. Republicans refused to bend to the Democrat’s demands to negotiate DACA, while the minority party largely unified to use the shutdown deadline to exact protections from the GOP for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants.
Republicans tried to sweeten the deal, offering Democrats a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, as well as the delay of some unpopular health care taxes. Republicans believed the public would blame Democrats if the sweetener was rejected.
Yet Democrats are pushing hard to paint their ideological opponents as obstructionists who used CHIP as a political weapon.
“They don’t give a damn about these kids,” Casey Jr. said at a press conference shortly after the shutdown. “If they gave a damn, they would have gotten it done in September, or October, or November, or December … now, suddenly, they have a newfound love for CHIP?”
Republicans control 51 seats in the Senate, while Democrats have 49. It requires 60 votes to pass a spending bill, and the majority party cannot use reconciliation to reduce the number of votes required for cloture.
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