Political News

Trump campaign manager privately pushes President to hold firm on border wall fight

Posted January 28, 2019 6:37 p.m. EST

— President Donald Trump's campaign manager is pushing him to hold firm in his ongoing battle with Democrats over funding for a border wall with Mexico.

Brad Parscale is making his pitch as Trump continues to negotiate with Democrats over border wall funding with the possibility of another government shutdown looming in less than three weeks.

As part of his pitch, Parscale is presenting the President with internal data that shows voters in key swing areas believe a border wall or fence is needed.

After the shutdown ended, Parscale commissioned a GOP firm to test the President's job performance and his border policies in 10 swing House districts where Democrats won in November. The chosen districts allow Parscale to show how staying the course could put pressure on House Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to break their so far steadfast opposition to funding a border wall.

It is CNN's practice to not publish partisan polls and CNN does not back nor can it confirm the data in this GOP memo.

But in this case, it is noteworthy because Parscale is using the information in order to argue privately to the President that while he may be blamed for the shutdown, based on this polling, his political team does not believe voters in key swing areas are punishing the President because the majority think his push for a border wall, or fence, is justified.

The results of this internal GOP data, detailed in a memo obtained by CNN, show that a 53% majority of voters in these districts support "building a border wall or barrier to improve security between the U.S. and Mexico."

CNN has reached out to all 10 House Democrats whose districts were polled but has not yet gotten responses. The districts are: Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, Anthony Brindisi, D-New York, Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-New York, Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-South Carolina, Rep. Andrew Kim, D-New Jersey, Rep. Max Rose, D-New York, Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Oklahoma, Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Virginia.

One senior House Democratic aide expressed surprise that the support in these Democrat held swing districts wasn't even higher than 53% for a wall.

"People want to build a wall, but that doesn't mean they want to shut down government to get the wall," said the Democratic aide.

The GOP memo ends with tested messages on how to talk about the border wall, most of which sound like what we heard from Republicans throughout the shutdown -- lines like "a border wall will help improve our national security," and "prior to President Trump being elected, most Democrats in Congress supported building a wall or a barrier with Mexico."

The memo concludes with this: "After they hear this series of statements, voters in these DEM-held congressional districts move toward supporting the President's border barrier as they shift away from Pelosi."