A new WSJ/NBC poll is showing a significant shift in the American public’s attitude toward immigration and free trade, showing record levels of support for both. 60% of Americans are now favorable toward immigration, and the public is split 37% to 37% on freedom of trade.
The shifts are both significant, and both opposite to the position of President Trump, which is fueling speculation that the record numbers reflect opponents of Trump increasingly taking up positions in contradiction to his, and a backlash against his efforts to seriously curtail both.
President Trump made immigration and trade key aspects of his campaign, and since taking office has tried repeatedly to ban immigration from multiple countries, while pushing an attempt to build a massive border wall on the Mexican border. In the meantime, he has talked up opposition to trade deals, presenting trade as in opposition to jobs.
The poll showed some of the shift even stronger along party lines, with support for free trade spiking among Democrats, while it actually fell slightly among Republicans. On the other hand, pro-immigration positions grew roughly at the same rate for both parties, while surging most among independents.
What this all will mean for the Trump Administration in the long run is unclear, but hostility to all things foreign was a bread and butter issue for the president in 2016, and are probably too deeply seated in his policy and branding to really back away from.