President Trump’s insistence on “building the wall” along the southern U.S. border divides Americans along partisan, religious, racial and generational lines, according to PRRI research from the 2018 American Values Survey. Among all Americans,58 percent oppose building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, compared to 41 percent who favor the policy.
Partisans are deeply divided on this issue. Eight in ten (80 percent) Republicans favor building a wall along the border, including nearly half (45 percent) who strongly favor such a policy. By contrast, eight in ten (80 percent) Democrats oppose building a wall along the border, including more than six in ten (61 percent) who are strongly opposed. Only about one in five (19 percent) Democrats favor building a wall along with U.S.-Mexico border. Independents’ views (62 percent oppose) mirror those of the general public. Over the last two years, Republicans and Democrats have become increasingly polarized in their attitudes toward building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. In 2016, about two-thirds (66 percent) of Republicans favored building a wall, including three in ten (30 percent) who strongly favored this policy, while three-quarters (75 percent) of Democrats were opposed, including nearly half (48 percent) who were strongly opposed.
Among religious groups, white Christian groups—especially white evangelical Protestants—stand out as the group most in favor of building a wall. Two-thirds (67 percent) of white evangelical Protestants favor building the wall, up from 58 percent in 2016. A majority of white mainline Protestants (52 percent) also favor building the wall. Catholics are strongly divided by race and ethnicity, with 56 percent of white Catholics in favor of building the wall, while nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Hispanic Catholics oppose it.Nearly nine in ten (85 percent) Trump supporters who attend church weekly support the wall, compared to 78 percent of Trump supporters who attend church less often.
While more than seven in ten Hispanic (72 percent) and black (72 percent) Americans oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, just half (50 percent) of white Americans hold the same view. Roughly the same number (48 percent) of white Americans favor building a wall along the border. Among white Americans, those without a four-year college degree are more likely than those with a degree to favor this policy (55 percent vs. 35 percent). Over half (55 percent) of white men favor the wall, compared to 42 percent of white women.