Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Prime-time Trump faces credibility crisis

President Donald Trump will face one huge obstacle when he appeals to Americans in a prime-time Oval Office address Tuesday to unite behind his crusade for a border wall: Himself.
Trump has spent years exploiting immigration -- one of the nation's most divisive fault lines -- during an insurgent campaign and a presidency sustained by the fervor of his committed political base.
But now, the downside of that strategy is becoming evident. In his attempt to convince the nation that a genuine crisis is unfolding at the southern border, the President's arguments face extreme skepticism from those not already in his camp.
    About 57% of Americans oppose Trump's wall compared with 38% in favor, according to a December CNN poll conducted by SSRS. Those numbers are similar to where they were just after Trump took office in 2017.
    On Tuesday night, Trump will commandeer the symbolic might of his office in an effort to bolster a political approach that has failed to force Democrats to cave to his demand for $5 billion in wall funding amid a government shutdown now in its third week.

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