In recent weeks, the Mexican government has stepped up activities to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. However, that action has had no impact on public perceptions of the agreement reached between President Trump’s Administration and the Mexican government.
Thirty-four percent (34% ) of voters believe the threat of tariffs led to a better deal for the United States. However, 34% disagree and 32% are not sure. Those numbers are virtually identical to those collected ten days ago.
The fact that new facts didn’t change anyone’s mind highlights just how polarized the public dialogue has become. It’s similar to an event earlier this year involving Covington High School students. Opinions were formed instantly, but didn’t change as significant amounts of new information became available. Liberal voters continued to believe the students behaved inappropriately while conservatives said it was the media who did so.
Prior to the agreement with the Mexican government, opinion was evenly divided. Fifty percent (50%) favored the tariff threat and 50% opposed it. Most voters recognize that tariffs can create economic harm but also recognize the issue is about more than economics.
Republicans, by a 62% to 14% margin, believe the tariff threats helped. Democrats, by a 50% to 17% margin, disagree. Independent voters are more evenly divided–28% say they helped, 36% say they didn’t, and 36% are not sure (see crosstab results).
The survey also found that 86% believe it’s important for Mexico to help the United States fight illegal immigration. Fifty-four percent (54%) believe it is likely to help. Eight-out-of-ten voters believe that illegal immigration is bad for the United States.
Looking ahead, if the Mexican government does not help the United States reduce illegal immigration, 42% believe the United States should again threaten to impose tariffs. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree.
In that case, 74% of Republicans think the tariff threat should be issued while 53% of Democrats do not. Among Independent voters, 34% support another tariff threat and 41% do not.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters have followed news about the agreement with Mexico at least somewhat closely.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters favor imposing tariffs on goods imported from China. That level of support remained unchanged after the conclusion of the Mexico agreement.
Public reaction to China the tariffs suggest that, for many voters, there is more at stake than economic considerations.
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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted June 19-20, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the sample). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 percentage point Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).