According to a recent comment by President Trump:

"When during the campaign, I would say 'Mexico is going to pay for it,' obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they're gonna write out a check, I said they're going to pay for it. They are," he said as he prepared to depart the White House for the southern border.

Are there statistics somewhere on the percentage of Trump supporters who believed that Mexico will literally write a check to pay for the wall?

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    It's worth pointing out, he said exactly that and went so far as to outline how it would work.
    – Schwern
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 23:26
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    I would bet near zero. If anyone really though Mexico was just going to send us a pile of cash, then...wow. I have always just assumed that the US would find a roundabout way to make it happen.
    – acpilot
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 1:41
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    @SmallChess if Mexico is paying the wall, then why do the Democrats need to sign off on funding for the wall? If Mexico is already paying, surely it should have to be paid for by the US budget?
    – JJJ
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 3:22
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    I think you have to clarify this. Are you asking about people who really thought that Mexico would literally pay for the wall (and indeed, that Trump would actually try to have it built), or about those who thought that Trump really believed that he could get Mexito to cut a check?
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 4:59
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    @JonathanReez Do you accept or refute the fact that the document Memo explains how Donald Trump plans to pay for border wall linked to by Schwern is a verified secondary source, distributed to the Washington Post by the primary source? Does the linked document "specify what "paying for the wall" really means." from the primary source? Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 5:35

2 Answers 2


Yes. Here's one poll by Quinnipiac University, see this link. The poll suggests that a majority of Republicans believed Mexico would pay for the wall.

enter image description here

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    This doesn't specify what "paying for the wall" really means. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 3:36
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    @JonathanReez "...what "paying for the wall" really means." I think most people have an intuitive understanding of "paying for the wall" even if in the end it's not completely accurate. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 8:58
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    It's worth noting that this is only one poll and polls can be quite inaccurate. One could for example ask how the poll was conducted, how any people were asked, ... to get a better picture of a possible error margin. A few more details are at poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2457 Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 9:02
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    The link in this answer also contains the results of a CBS poll from around the same time frame which asks "If the wall were built, who would end up paying?" - respondents overwhelmingly believed the US would foot the bill. Even for Republicans, less than 25% believed that Mexico would end up paying. Why show us one graph and not the other? Seems like a bit of cherry-picking. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 14:53
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    @Trilarion - I think you'll find as Trump's bluster about this turns into walking back statements, denying he said things, and redefining the term, people who are invested in never having to say they or Trump might be wrong will see their "intuitive understanding" shift considerably. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:56

As of mid-December 2018, 59% of Republicans thought it was 'very likely' that Trump would get Mexico to pay for the wall (question 6A), and 9% believe he has 'already accomplished' this.

As a comparison, in April of 2017, only 46% of Republicans thought it was 'very likely' (question 4), 47% in November of 2017 (question 6), and in March of 2018, it was up to 54% (question 6A). So if anything, Republicans increasingly think he's going to be able to make Mexico pay for it.

As for specific method? Fox News is probably the best source you'll get, and they cite the memorandum Trump sent out.

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    Dunno why the downvote. This seems like a clear enough answer.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 15:45
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    @F1Krazy - Maybe the "Fox news is probably the best source you'll get" syntax evoked a involuntary, reflexive reaction. Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:54

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