Poll Indicates Support of Immigration Reform

Poll Indicates Support of Immigration Reform

Politico reported that a new poll being released later Thursday could send a warning to politicians nationwide: Oppose immigration reform at your peril.

The results from the survey, sponsored by a trio of GOP-friendly groups and provided to POLITICO in advance, indicate that voters will be warmer toward politicians who favor #immigration reform, an effort that faces an uphill battle in the Republican-led House.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to support a candidate who backs immigration reform compared with 18 percent who said they would be less likely. On the flip side, 54 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes immigration reform while only 17 percent said they would be more likely.

The poll also targeted a dozen battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, which have results similar to those nationwide. For instance, in Virginia — a key presidential swing state that just wrapped up a gubernatorial election — 51 percent of voters would be less likely to support a candidate who opposes immigration reform compared with 17 percent who would be more likely.

“Support for immigration reform is broad and especially strong among persuadable independents that Republicans need to win elections,” Charlie Spies, co-founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform, said in a statement. “There is no question that Republicans have significantly more risk in opposing immigration reform than they do in supporting it.”

Organizations that put together the poll include Spies’s group as well as Partnership for a New American Economy, the pro-reform coalition headed up by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Compete America, a tech industry coalition backing reform.

“Elected officials nationwide would be wise to listen to the people they represent,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of the Partnership and Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser. “Otherwise, they can rest assured they’ll be hearing from them on Election Day in 2014 and beyond.”

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About 71 percent of voters surveyed nationwide said they would back an immigration bill that contains the following provisions: border security, an expanded visa program for high-skilled workers and agricultural workers, an employment verification system, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children and legal status for immigrants in the United States illegally.

As for a pathway to citizenship, 73 percent would support it if it includes requirements to cough up penalties, learn English, pass background checks, pay taxes and wait at least 13 years, according to the poll.

The automated poll was conducted Oct. 19-20 and surveyed 900 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.

The poll comes as another major labor group plans to launch ads pressuring House Republicans on immigration reform. The Service Employees International Union said their $500,000 ad buy will target Republican Reps. Gary Miller of California, Joe Heck of Nevada, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Rodney Davis of Illinois, David Joyce of Ohio, John Kline of Minnesota and Michael Grimm of New York in their home districts. Another ad targeting Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will run in the D.C.-area television market.

The SEIU joined a separate lobbying effort from a coalition of liberal-leaning immigration advocacy groups focusing on nine House Republicans who could face political fallout in their districts from Latino constituencies. Along with Heck, Coffman and Miller, the campaign is targeting Reps. Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Buck McKeon of California; Daniel Webster of Florida; Steve Pearce of New Mexico; and Scott Tipton of Colorado.