SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump gets the most blame from Utahns for the ongoing federal government shutdown in a new poll, but congressional Democrats aren't far behind.
While 36 percent of those polled for UtahPolicy.comsay the president bears the most responsiblity for what is the longest shutdown in U.S. history, 32 percent place the blame on Democrats in the House and Senate.
Just 2 percent hold Republicans in Congress responsible for the shutdown that began Dec. 22, although 29 percent blame Trump as well as both parties for the impasse over border wall funding sought by the president but opposed by Democrats.
The poll was conducted of 822 registered voters Jan. 3-15 for the online political news source by Dan Jones & Associates, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
LaVarr Webb, who publishes UtahPolicy.com and writes a political column for the Deseret News, said the results were not surprising given how the situation has played out in public.
"In the average citizen's mind, the big fight is between Trump and the Democrats in Congress. The Democrats have been highly visible," Webb said, while Republicans are laying low.
"Two percent for Republicans in Congress is low, there's no doubt about that," he said, although the GOP could end up sharing more of the blame as the shutdown drags on.
"Maybe what will happen is the number who blame all equally increases. That's kind of where I am," Webb said. "Most people are not feeling the pain, but when they start to do so, most people will blame both sides."
Nationally, polls have shown most Americans blame the president for the shutdown.
Jason Perry, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, said Trump is viewed as provoking the fight.28 comments on this story
"What's happening here, at least in the minds of Utahns, is that the impasse is in the hands of President Trump. It was his line in the sand. It was his campaign promise," Perry said.
Utahns view the president as the face of the Republican side of the battle to build the border wall and the Democrats as his opposition, he said, while at the same time, the state's Republican officials are seen as pushing to solve the standoff.
"The Democrats are the response to the line in the sand," Perry said. "In Utah, you listen to our Republican elected officials and they are saying we need border security, but we need to find a solution to the budget impasse."