For the second time in 24 hours, a national poll has emerged to suggest that the public is warming to President Trump’s improved border security. An ABC/Washington Post poll on Sunday revealed that public support for the barrier wall is increasing while opposition is lessening. Now comes another survey, this released Monday.
“With no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the government, President Trump hasn’t convinced a majority of the public to back his position on the border wall at the center of the budget impasse. But he has won the support of men,” reports John Merline, an analyst with Investors Business Daily, which commissioned the research.
It found 46 percent of Americans are in favor of the wall — a sentiment up 3 percentage points since a similar survey in November; 53 percent oppose the barrier, a finding which remains unchanged.
“Trump has managed to change some minds, however,” Mr. Merline continues, noting that 55 percent of men now support the wall, up 7 percentage points since the prior survey.
There’s a gender divide on the idea of a “big, beautiful wall,” as Mr. Trump once put it. The poll also revealed that 61 percent of women oppose the wall, up from 58 percent in November.
“According to the data, the issue has a ‘battle of sexes’ tone to it. Men and women don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue,” says Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica, which conducted the research.
There’s another “big shift” among independents as well. In November, only 38 percent backed the wall. In two months, support increased to 44 percent while opposition dropped from 57 percent to 54 percent.
“Among Democrats and Republicans, positioned only hardened. In November, 87 percent of Democrats said they opposed the border wall. Today, 90 percent oppose it. And while 85 percent of Republicans said they back the wall before, 89 percent do now,” Mr. Merline advises.
THE LOGIC OF A BORDER WALL
President Trump has already pointed this out, and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise is underscoring the reality. Most of the heroin in the U.S. — 90 percent — arrives through the southern border. There is much vigilance in this region, however. Mr. Scalise also notes that in 2018, the Department of Homeland Security’s Custom and Border Patrol seized or helped seize 1.7 million pounds of narcotics, including 282,000 pounds of cocaine, 248,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 6,500 pounds of heroin and 2,400 pounds of fentanyl.
Then there’s the strategic deterrence of the border wall itself.
“Border security is crucial to stemming the tide of our drug crisis. In 2005, the Yuma Sector of the southern border was a hot spot of illegal border crossings. When DHS built 29 miles of border wall in that area, seizures of methamphetamine shot up more than 8,000 percent and seizures of heroin increased 39,554 percent. Walls don’t just reduce illegal border crossings, they reduce the flow of drugs into our country,” says Mr. Scalise.
“Democrats need to stop ignoring the experts and fund border security to protect the American people. Republicans and Democrats alike have said that the opioid crisis is a complex problem requiring a multifaceted solution. Border security is a part of that solution. A border wall is part of that solution,” he advises.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE
The Senate confirmation hearing on William P. Barr’s nomination to U.S. attorney general is Tuesday, and it is sure to spark a spate of media coverage that combines speculation, opinion and maybe even some news and facts here and there. Let’s hope for the latter. The Justice Department, incidentally, released Mr. Barr’s prepared testimony on Monday, helping set the stage for the big doings to come.
“I agreed to serve because I believe strongly in public service, I revere the law, and I love the Department of Justice and the dedicated professionals who serve there. I believe I can do a good job leading the department in these times,” Mr. Barr will say.
C-SPAN will be there of course, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, Fox News also will present special live coverage of President Trump’s nominee with a cast that includes anchors Bill Hemmer, Sandra Smith, Bret Baier, Shannon Bream and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley — with analysts Andrew Napolitano and Juan Williams reporting live from New York. Their coverage also begins at 9:30 a.m.
MR. PENCE STEPS UP
Vice President Mike Pence always has time for America’s most vulnerable citizens. He plans to address the March for Life’s 37th Rose Dinner, which takes place in the nation’s capital on the eve of the organization’s annual march along the National Mall on Saturday.
“Throughout his extensive career, Vice President Pence has remained exemplary in his commitment to protecting the sanctity of unborn life, and it is our utmost privilege to have a pro-life champion of his stature address this year’s Rose Dinner,” says Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life.
DISCUSSION OF NOTE
The Cato Institute offers a policy forum Tuesday in the nation’s capital titled “The Return of Great Power Competition” — a timely event, perhaps.
“The Trump administration has emphasized the reemergence of great power competition as the organizing principle for U.S. foreign policy. What scholarship should inform its understanding of how to compete with China and Russia? And how will international relations change in an era when new actors are challenging the status quo? The history of great power politics can provide some clues,” the organizers advise.
On hand to weigh in: David Edelstein, vice dean of faculty at Georgetown College and associate professor of government at Georgetown University; Stacie E. Goddard, professor of political science at Wellesley College; Paul K. MacDonald, associate professor of political science at Wellesley College; and Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, assistant professor of international relations at Boston University. The moderator is Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.
Things get underway at noon EDT; watch online at Cato.org/live.
POLL DU JOUR
• 65 percent of Americans say “any talk of impeaching President Trump” is premature.
• 51 percent say the “president’s opponents” are using the Russian collusion investigation to “delegitimize” the 2016 election.
• 48 percent say the special counsel investigation was launched to “rein in President Trump.”
• 46 percent support the construction of a southern border wall.
• 42 percent approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing.
Source: An IBD/TIPP Poll of 903 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 1-12.
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