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Bar graph of poll results. 83% support and 15% oppose stricter border control. 55% support and 41% oppose a path to citizenship. 49% approve and 43% disapprove of President Obama's handling of immigration.
President Obama got his strongest-ever approval rating on immigration in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, climbing to 49 percent approving vs. 43 percent disapproving; in July, just 38 percent approved while 52 percent approved. Support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants was similarly in positive territory, pulling in 55 percent support to 41 percent opposition. And apparently 83 percent of people either don't know that there are more Border Patrol agents out there than ever before, or think that's still not enough, supporting stricter border control. Just 15 percent of people oppose stricter border control.

Obviously, there are some racial and partisan differences:

Specifically, 67 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of nonwhites overall approve of Obama’s handling of immigration, compared with 38 percent of whites. And a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is supported by 82 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of all nonwhites, as well as by nearly seven in 10 Democrats and just over half of independents. It’s supported by fewer than half of whites, 47 percent; Republicans, 42 percent; and by just 37 percent of adults who describe themselves as very conservative politically.
There are a couple key numbers there for Republicans to consider as they try to find their way to the policy that will do the least harm electorally—one that won't hurt them with their base in the short term, make them look unpalatably extremist for general elections, or end their chance of competing among Latino voters for a generation. One, of course, is that 82 percent Latino support for a path to citizenship. But it's not just Latino voters—the support of 53 percent of self-identified moderates and 52 percent of independents for a path to citizenship should definitely be something Republicans consider carefully when they're deciding just how obstructionist they want to be on this.

Of course, House Republicans will doubtless be too concerned about the 61 percent of people identifying as very conservative—i.e. Republican primary voters—who oppose a path to citizenship.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Big corporations are evil (0+ / 0-)

    As we all know, big corporations outsource, pollute, Insider-Trade and receive Corporate Welfare.

    They tolerate or even encourage sexism, racism and homophobia.

    My question is how can we prevent these same corporations from practicing labor arbitrage once they have a new source of workers to play off against existing workers.

    If we can find out how to prevent that, the approval ratings will remain high.

  •  Help bring my cousin and her family out of exile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70

    In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by boriscleto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:23:41 AM PST

  •  So 38% of whites (0+ / 0-)

    remember that our ancestors came here from Europe. Hmmmmmmmm.

  •  38% of whites (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheLizardKing

    Please accept my apologies - sometimes it's just embarrassing to be a white person.

  •  Called my Tea Party wave elected GOP rep today. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, SueDe

    I said I was calling to specifically support a path to citizenship.  I did this because I had read the House GOP were going to go for the guest worker angle pushed by Bush.

    I also identified right off the bat as a person of faith.  I have read that this is an area of common ground for many others.

    I brought up the scapegoating of immigrants during economic downturns, the fairness that has been sought and the enforcement that has created a net zero immigration situation which must be acknowledged among the GOP.  I talked about the immorality of exploiting strangers that have come to our land to work.  I also talked about the xenophobia of the right wing John Birch mentality and its prominence in our modern GOP.

    •  Good for you! (0+ / 0-)

      Congress people certainly won't support a good solution to our immigration problem if people don't encourage them to do so.  Some of them won't anyway, but we still need to step up and try.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Puzzling; most puzzling (0+ / 0-)

    First off, I've been told many, many times over the last four years that the bully pulpit the president (any president) occupies is vastly overrated. The president, I am assured, really can't drive policy or public opinion as if he has some kind of magic wand. And yet, there's a 55% approval rating for "path to citizenship." While I'm not sure how that's defined, I am pretty sure that "path to citizenship" will be defined by the Nitwit Brigade as "amnesty" or some such and wielded like a cudgel against President Obama. And yet it enjoys majority support.

    The other puzzling aspect is going to be watching how the Democrats give away this advantage so as to calm the nerves of a bunch of yahoos who aren't going to vote for Democrats or sign onto Democratic proposals nohow, no way, nobama.

    Democrats: They're going to yammer anyway. Why not act to please the voters who put you in office, instead of the nitwits who despise you?

  •  surprising that the wish for stricter border (0+ / 0-)

    control is so high. We have a lot of border.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:40:58 AM PST

  •  Did this survey also include legal immigrants? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu

    I could be wrong, but that seems to be the one group no one hears from in this debate.

  •  We whites, as a group, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu

    seem to be a particularly paranoid and ignorant bunch, according to this poll.  And I quite resent that other members of my "group" can foist such disparagement on me.  I feel like I need to wear a sign reading "I Am Not Afraid of Undocumented Immigrants, but that would just obliterate my sense of fashion.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:48:17 AM PST

  •  I'm not trying to thread jack, but I have this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuco35

    weird question re: immigration.

    If "life begings at conception" per the Republicans, then if two people visiting the United States legally have sex in the United States and conceive in the United States, is the child from that union automatically a U.S. citizen?

    Does anyone know the Republican position on this issue?   Is this a wedge -- force the anti-immigration groups to fight the anti-abortion crowd?  Because, I mean, if "Anchor Babies" are a problem, then the Republicans will freak over "Anchor Nookie."  

    OK, like I said, I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to thread jack, but when i started reading the diary this question popped into my mind.

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