Poll: Majority oppose shutting down government over DACA provision


A majority of polled voters oppose shutting down the government over Democratic demands that a budget deal include provisions to shield from deportation immigrants who came to the country illegally as children, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

When respondents were asked whether they “favor or oppose Democrats voting to shut the government down” if the funding measure does not restore work permits for those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, 58 percent said they oppose a shutdown. 

Views on the issue fall generally along ideological lines, with 68 percent of Democrats in favor of a shutdown aimed at extending the DACA program, while 83 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents would oppose a shutdown driven by an immigration fight, according to the poll.

Those findings mirror a CNN survey released Friday that found 56 percent of polled voters believe that passing a budget to avoid a shutdown is more important than reaching an agreement on DACA.

“The poll suggests that a shutdown over DACA could well backfire as the public is hugely sympathetic to the ‘Dreamers’ but don’t think closing the government is the way to handle it,” said Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.

The poll found that 77 percent support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. However, a majority of respondents also support stronger border security and the merit-based immigration system favored by Republicans.

“Both sides have huge public support for their positions, so logically they should make a deal there rather than revert to gridlock,” Penn said.

Still, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released late Friday found that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: ‘We should be like Canada’ in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: ‘Sheet metal and garbage’ everywhere in Haiti MORE and Republicans would shoulder the blame for a shutdown. That survey found that 48 percent of respondents would blame the GOP, compared to 28 percent who would blame Democrats and 18 percent who said the parties would share the blame.

Congress has until midnight to pass a funding bill to keep the government open.

The House passed a short-term funding bill Thursday but Democrats say they have the votes to block the bill, which does not include provisions to protect DACA recipients.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris online survey of 980 registered voters was conducted Jan. 17-19. The partisan breakdown is 38 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 28 percent independent and 3 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2018. 



The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

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