Not being able to write is a fuckin’ bummer! I usually don’t re-post material from other blogs, but the following is something I felt needed to be shared.
* * *
"The Immigrant" 1903
Shocker: Most Backers of
by Frank Sharry
[Note: From the outset, I have noted that early polls regarding
With national polls showing majority support for
Here’s a shocker: four out of five voters who support
In a bipartisan survey sponsored by America’s Voice Education Fund and conducted by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies of 800 registered voters nationwide, with an oversample of 300 Latino registered voters, we sought to understand the motivations and sentiments underlying the top line support for Arizona’s tough immigration law. Here is what we found:
- Three out of five voters nationwide do indeed support the
law. Not surprisingly, a majority of Latino voters oppose the law. Arizona
- At the same time, four out of five of the voters who support the
law also support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. Only one out of five support deportation as the preferred policy option when asked what to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Arizona
- In addition, strong majorities believe that illegal immigration is a national problem, prefer comprehensive reform to Arizona-style laws in their state, and want the problem of illegal immigration acted on now.
Here are the numbers. Like other polls, our latest shows that 60% of voters support the
This bears repeating:
More than 4 out of 5 voters who support the
How can voters enthusiastically support an
At the core, voters’ support was rooted in frustration with lack of action at the federal level. When we asked voters why they supported
Furthermore, by a margin of 53% to 18% voters prefer a comprehensive national solution to a version of
The passage of the
Voters were asked to choose between three policy options: deporting immigrants in the
Finally, we found that comprehensive reform unites rather than divides Americans, with 77% of Latinos in favor, roughly the same proportion as the electorate as a whole. In fact, comprehensive immigration reform is more popular overall than the
Is our poll an outlier? Not at all. Our findings, especially with regard to support for a path to legal status for those in the
Actually, these results are consistent with polling conducted over the years. In the words of Markos Moulitsas, support for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship has been “gaudy” for some time. What may surprise many, however, is that voters can simultaneously support the
So, to recap, voters – frustrated with federal government inaction -- much prefer “doing something” to “doing nothing.” They increasingly want the problem of illegal immigration addressed now. They understand
Politically, this means that the conventional wisdom about how to interpret majority support for the
Instead of ducking it, Democrats should lean hard into the immigration issue, knowing that the problem-solving and pragmatism embedded in their support for comprehensive reform connects them with the broad majority of Americans who are hungry for solutions on this complex issue. It means Republicans who pander to an angry anti-immigrant base will not only continue alienating Latino voters, but will have a very difficult time expanding their support beyond that base.
But won’t a battle over immigration reform mobilize the right, renew the “amnesty” attack, and turn these initial polls around? No. Recent polling by Hart Research Associates shows that comprehensive immigration reform holds up under the toughest attacks on some of the toughest terrain. And consistent with the findings regarding Arizona support trumped by support for comprehensive immigration reform, following a simulated legislative battle over immigration Democrats who support it actually improve their overall standing with voters.
If only the meaning of the nationwide reaction to
“... So why is it so hard to do what the American people -- most of us -- so plainly want done?”
An excellent question. If anything, support for the
A note on the cartoon (not used in the original post):
“The Immigrant” (1903) “Is he an acquisition or a detriment?” So asks this timeless Judge cartoon, in which the man just off the boat is a mute witness to the debate swirling around him: “He is a menace;” “He brings me cheap labor;” “He cheapens my labor;” “He brings disease;” “He is brawn and muscle for my country;” “He makes votes for me;” and finally, “He is a puzzle to me.” No one seems more puzzled by the cacophony than the immigrant himself.