POLL: Americans think the shutdown will end in 3 weeks. They also thought that last week.

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  • INSIDER asked Americans how long they expected the shutdown would last given that, as of Tuesday, the shutdown had gone on for 32 days.
  • The median response was 50 days, meaning that the median person expected 18 more days of shutdown.
  • We also asked this question last week. Given the shutdown ran for 25 days, the median person expected a 43-day shutdown. That’s 18 more days.

Washington is continuing its shutdown fight, but overall Americans aren’t having a good time.

People don’t think that shutting down the government is an appropriate negotiating tactic. They don’t think the best use of $5.7 billion is a wall. Most people don’t think there’s a security crisis at the border, a view specifically held by the people who actually live near the Mexican border.

But most of all, after the past week they don’t think the shutdown will end anytime soon.

Last week INSIDER polled Americans using SurveyMonkey Audience, asking how long they expected the shutdown would last.

On Jan. 15, we asked: “As of Tuesday, the federal government has been shut down for 25 days. How many days, in total, do you expect this government shutdown will last?”

Among the 1,053 respondents, the median response was 43 days. That mean the median expectation was another 18 days of shutdown.

Yesterday, in a survey that ran through this morning, we asked the same question: “As of Tuesday, the federal government has been shut down for 32 days. How many days, in total, do you expect this government shutdown will last?”

This time, the 1,118 respondents gave a median response of 50 days, which again translated to an expected 18 days of shutdown.

None of the events of the past week – the president’s speech on Saturday, the announcement of a Senate vote that looks increasingly pro forma, and increasing frustration with the government – have actually made Americans any more optimistic that the shutdown is entering its final phase.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters between U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) (L) after Trump addressed a closed Senate Republican policy lunch while a partial government shutdown enters its 19th day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2019.

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters between U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) (L) after Trump addressed a closed Senate Republican policy lunch while a partial government shutdown enters its 19th day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2019.
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REUTERS/Leah Millis

Indeed, while the median response may be unchanged, Americans are getting more pessimistic by some metrics. Among last week’s survey respondents, 76 percent expected the shutdown would last at least another week. Among this week’s, 89 percent of respondents anticipate another week.

The federal government’s position gets increasingly perilous as the partial government shutdown continues, with the economy poised to take a major hit and parts of the federal government nearing a critical point of failure next fairly imminently.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,095 completed respondents January 15-16, margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points with 95% confidence level. Total 1,175 completed respondents January 22-23, margin of error plus or minus 3.00 percentage points with 95% confidence level.