'What the [expletive] were we thinking?'
Trump voters may have liked the idea of a border wall during the campaign, but they're not so excited about the reality of it.
According to a new Washington Post report, Trump is losing support from some of his key voters in Rust Belt states, many of whom blame Trump for the government shutdown and say they are having second thoughts about voting for such a "disruptive" president.
"What the [expletive] were we thinking?" asked Jeff Daudert, a retired Navy reservist from Detroit, Michigan.
"It’s silly. It’s destructive," Daudert said of Trump's government shutdown, adding that he wouldn't make the same mistake of voting for Trump in 2020. "I was certainly for the anti-status quo. … I’ll be more status quo next time."
And Daudert isn't the only one backing away from his support for Trump.
Citing recent polling, the Post noted that the government shutdown has caused some key parts of Trump’s base to waver in their support for him — an alarming sign for Trump, who has relied on his core voter base to keep his poll numbers from sinking even lower as his disapproval ratings soar among the rest of the country.
According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted Jan. 10 to Jan. 13, Trump's net approval rating has dropped 7 points since December. While he lost support across the board, Trump's approval among suburban men plunged a staggering 18 percentage points, representing one of the steepest drops of any group. He also saw net drops of 13 points among white evangelicals, and 10 points among all Republicans.
And many of those voters say Trump's "ridiculous" position on the border wall was the turning point for them.
Trump made the border wall a centerpiece of his campaign, promising not only to build the wall, but also that Mexico would foot the bill. When he failed to follow through on that promise, he decided to hold funding for the federal government hostage to try to force a deal that he couldn't make on his own.
Now, many of his voters — especially white working class voters who flipped from Democratic to Republican when they voted for Trump — are seeing the emptiness of his promises and worrying about the future with such a reckless president calling the shots.
"I was doing fine with him up until this government shutdown," said Trump voter Jeremiah Wilburn, a 45-year-old operating engineer from Michigan.
"It’s ridiculous. You’re not getting the wall built for $5 billion. And Mexico is not paying for it, we all know that, too," he said.
Trump's decision to shut down the government over the border wall is "starting to turn people like me away," Wilburn added.
Wilburn was one of many Trump voters who told the Post that they are worried about the economic impact of the shutdown, which is being shouldered largely by working class Americans.
While Trump claimed that he cared about the interests of the working class, the government shutdown has revealed how out of touch he is with the voters he promised to look out for. Currently, 800,000 federal employees and contractors are going without a paycheck — and voters like Wilburn are crying foul.
"You can’t expect people to come to work without getting paid," Wilburn told the Post.
As the longest-ever government shutdown keeps getting longer, Americans are becoming more and more frustrated. Despite his efforts to blame the shutdown on Democrats, voters are increasingly blaming Trump and his unreasonable demand for money to build a border wall.
The consequences of Trump's decision to shut down the government could spell trouble for him in 2020. With his approval ratings slipping and his base peeling away, more than half of all voters are already saying they definitely won't vote for him in the next election.
Trump promised to shake things up in Washington. But when he failed at doing so, he decided to shut it down instead — and in 2020, voters are prepared to do the same to him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.