Many Democrats and swing-voters strongly oppose President Barack Obama’s immigration policies, according to previously unreleased information from a poll by George Washington University’s Battleground poll.
The August survey of 1,015 likely voters showed that Obama’s immigration policy faces lopsided “strong” opposition and “somewhat” opposition, yielding 57 percent opposition to 38 percent support.
One of the polling firms sent The Daily Caller data showing how many demographic groups strongly opposed or supported Obama’s immigration policies. That’s valuable data, because campaigns can persuade voters with strong opinions on a particular issue to switch their ballot. Voters who hold “somewhat oppose” or “somewhat support” views are less likely to care about the issue.
The new data showed that 114 “conservative Democrats” split 28 percent strongly against and 23 percent strongly for Obama’s immigration policies.
The data shows that of 163 “mod[erate]/conservative Democrats” 25 percent disapprove and 21 percent approve. Eighty-eight “soft Dems” are split 20 percent strongly against, 34 percent strongly for.
Large slices of critical Democratic-leaning blocs also strongly opposed the president’s immigration policies, the data showed.
The sample of 204 low-income voters in the poll split 46 percent strongly against, 24 percent strongly supportive, even though 51 percent approved of Obama’s job performance.
Union households gave Obama a 59 percent to 39 percent overall positive job approval, but also reported 39 percent strong negative to 24 percent strong positive rating on immigration.
Those deep splits in the Democratic base could be a major problem for Democrats if the GOP decides to rally independents and base voters for the November election.
So far, several GOP candidates are spotlighting Obama’s lax border enforcement policies.
But few GOP candidates are slamming Obama’s very unpopular plan to offer work-permits after the election to millions of illegal immigrants so they can compete for jobs against young Americans. Even fewer GOP candidates are criticizing the nation’s current immigration polices, which boost the labor supply and widen wage and wealth gaps.
The Battleground poll shows that even “traditionally left-of-center voters have figured out what Republican candidates running for Senate must learn and do if they wish to break out of the mid-40s polling rut most of them face: that immigration is a matter of national security, lawlessness AND jobs,” said Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster who has polled voters to learn how they view the impact of immigration on jobs and wages.
“To win, a strong message of fairness (to everyone, not just the illegal immigrants) and commonsense is compelling,” she said.
“If I were running in a purplish state, I’d look at that [data] and say to myself, wow, those folks I need to grab (even the 20% of soft Dems who strongly oppose) could be put on my side by highlighting this issue,” said one GOP consultant.
“The hard Ds just don’t seem to be too spun up about the issue which I think argues against a fear of backlash,” he added.
Even if donors retaliate, “the data seems to show you can get to the end — more votes! — by hitting a strong message against amnesty,” the consultant said.