Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Illegal Immigration A Red Hot Issue In Battleground States

Bookmark and Share

When Hillary Clinton stated her qualified support for a New York State law giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, she was criticized on two fronts: being out of step with the vast majority of Americans on the issue plus not giving a straight answer when pressed further on the issue by the MSNBC debate moderators. How much will her stance on illegal immigration hurt her campaign?

A November 2007 Rasmussen survey found 77 percent of Americans opposed giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, while 16 percent supported the measure. One rarely finds that kind of lopsided support for an issue, especially one that somehow remains a contentious issue on Capitol Hill.

Illegal immigration generally also remains a hot-button issue in several battleground states. A few weeks ago SurveyUSA asked registered voters in 7 key states (Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico, and Oregon) what one issue Congress should focus on ahead of all others. The respondents were given 8 choices: the economy, the environment, health care, Iraq, terrorism, Social Security, education and immigration.

Immigration, at 15 percent, was tied for the 2nd most important when averaged across these states, only trailing the war in Iraq (at 22 percent). Fifteen percent also stated health care, followed by the economy (13 percent), terrorism (12 percent), the environment (7 percent), education (7 percent), and Social Security (5 percent).

Immigration was found to be the top Congressional priority for voters in Colorado and Virginia, the second most important issue in New Hampshire and Oregon, the third highest in New Mexico, the fourth highest in Minnesota, and the fifth highest in Maine.

Concern about immigration was starkly split among partisan lines. Republicans determined immigration to be the most important issue in 4 states (Oregon, Virginia, Colorado, and Maine) and the second most important issue in 3 (New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Minnesota). Overall, 1 of 4 GOP registered voters claimed immigration to be the most pressing concern for Congress.

For Democrats, however, only 5 percent named immigration the key issue, including just 3 percent in Minnesota. For independents, 15 percent replied immigration was the top Congressional priority, ranking as the most important issue among that cross section in Colorado and Virginia.

Given these numbers, immigration will likely be a key factor in the upcoming primary elections, except for those states with closed Democratic primaries. For those states in which independents can vote in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton's immigration stance could hurt her in a close race.

Previous post: Romney Doubles Up Nearest Competitor In Latest Zogby Iowa Poll
Next post: Latest IA Poll: Dem. Caucus Heats Up; Romney in Sight For Huckabee

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting