Politics

New Poll Shows Opposition To Obama’s Amnesty

Neil Munro White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama’s immigration edict is opposed by 50 percent of likely voters, while he has the apparent support of 40 percent, according to a new Rasmussen poll.

But that support is fractured, according to the poll of 1,000 people.

Only 11 percent — or a little over one-quarter of his base — say the plan will lower the number of illegals. In contrast, 55 percent said that Obama’s plan will increase the number of illegals in the United States.

Similarly, only 29 percent of respondents said his plan will be good for the economy — down 11 points from his overall support level, according to the poll, which was taken after Obama’s Nov. 21 announcement of his complex and confusing program. Forty-nine percent of respondents said his plan would be bad for the economy.

Swing-voting non-partisans strongly oppose his amnesty, by 54 percent to 36 percent, said the poll.

The GOP’s base is largely united in strongly opposing the complex plan, 75 percent to 19 percent. That data matches other polls that show more intense opposition than support.

For example, a September poll by the Washington Post shows that his immigration policy had 33 percent overall support and 60 percent opposition among registered voters. But only 15 percent of the respondents strongly supported Obama’s policy, while 47 percent strongly opposed of Obama’s policy. That intensity matters, because voting is shaped by strong opinions, not by tepid opinions. The Rasmussen poll did not measure the intensity of support and opposition for Obama’s amnesty.
If it stands, Obama’s amnesty would hand out roughly four million work permits to low-skill migrants and also sharply increase the number of low-wage guest workers. That’s a reversal for Obama. In 2006, Obama said migrants and guest workers threaten Americans’ wages and jobs.

His amnesty would also rewrite federal regulations to help foreign workers win residency, citizenship and voting cards. That political process likely will add millions of votes to Democratic candidates after 2024, unless it is blocked by GOP leaders.

So far, the GOP leadership is offering only rhetorical opposition to the unpopular amnesty. The leaders are equivocating because they face anti-amnesty pressure from voters and strong pro-amnesty pressure from the business groups and donors who want to cut payroll costs by hiring low-wage foreign workers.

That’s an increasingly sharp conflict in the GOP, and recent polls show overwhelming bipartisan demand among Americans for rules to ensure companies should favor American workers over immigrants or illegals. Before the election, numerous polls showed strong public opposition to Obama’s immigration polices, which have risen to as as high as four-to-one strong opposition.

The pressure on GOP leaders for inaction is also increased by pressure from upper-income people, including many lawyers, advocates and media people in Washington, D.C.

Sixty-seven percent of people who earn about $200,000 approved Obama’s amnesty, while 29 percent opposed it, said the Rasmussen poll. Similarly, 46 percent of the wealthiest group say the amnesty will be good for the economy, while only 21 percent said it will be bad for the economy.

But African-Americans remain loyal to the president, and they declared 65 percent support and 18 percent opposition. Only liberals declare a higher level of support, at 76 percent. If African-Americans had voted like lower-income respondents, the Rasmussen poll would have shifted roughly eight points, to 54 percent opposition and 36 percent support.

The Democrats’ mix of support from the wealthiest and the poorest contrasts with the GOP’s alliance of wealthy donors with middle-income, middle-education Americans who are largely hostile to Obama’s amnesty.

For example, Obama’s edict is opposed 49 percent to 41 percent by people who earn between $50,000 to $100,000. That’s a 46-point difference from the highest-income group. It is even more strongly opposed, 56 percent to 35 percent, by Americans who earn between $30,000 and $50,000. That’s a 59 point gap with the highest-income group.

Only 24 percent of this lower-middle income group thinks the amnesty will be good for the economy, while 57 percent believe it will be bad for the economy.

The same high vs. middle pattern is seen when the voters are sorted by educational credentials.

People with post-graduate degrees — such as lawyers, government officials or health-care managers — supported Obama’s plan by 55 percent to 36 percent.

But middle-ranked people with college degrees opposed his plan by 52 percent to 38 percent. That’s a 35-point shift from the post-graduate group.

People who attended college, but did not complete, opposed the edict by 60 percent to 30 percent. That’s a 49-point difference from the post-grad supporters of Obama’s plan.

But those lower income to middle income voters are potentially important to the GOP, partly because they’re being sought by some GOP leaders, including Sen. Jeff Sessions, to offset the growing ballot-box impact of Latino immigrants.

Several polls suggest many swing-voting and Democratic-leaning voters will back GOP politicians who champion policies that favor working Americans.

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