May 31, 2007

Latest Rasmussen Poll

Scott Rasmussen gets it. This pollster can really write, too.

Just 16% Believe Senate Bill Will Reduce Illegal Immigration
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There’s a simple reason the immigration bill being debated by the U.S. Senate is unpopular with voters—the general public doesn’t believe it will reduce illegal immigration. And, in the minds of most voters, that’s what immigration reform is all about.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 16% of American voters believe illegal immigration will decline if the Senate bill is passed. Seventy-four percent (74%) disagree. That figure includes 41% who believe the Senate bill will actually lead to an increase in illegal immigration.

If voters had a chance to improve the legislation, 75% would “make changes to increase border security measures and reduce illegal immigration.” Just 29% would” make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the country and eventually become citizens.”

Voters who believe that the current bill will succeed in reducing illegal immigration favor its passage by a 51% to 31% margin. Those who believe the bill will lead to even more illegal immigration oppose its passage by a 70% to 12% margin.

Overall, despite a major push by the President and others over the past week, support for the Senate bill has not increased at all. In polling conducted last night (Tuesday, May 29), 26% of voters favor passage of the bill. That’s unchanged from the 26% support found in polling conducted the previous Monday and Tuesday. Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters remain opposed.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of American voters are closely following news stories about the issue, including 37% who are following it Very Closely. Those with the highest interest in the issue oppose the legislation by a 3-to-1 margin (69% to 23%). By a 55% to 15% margin, those following the story Very Closely believe the bill will lead to increased levels of illegal immigration.

Unaffiliated voters are now more opposed to the bill than either Republicans or Democrats. Among those who don’t identify with either of the major parties, 22% support the Senate bill while 57% are opposed.

Some supporters of the bill have tried to suggest it is politically popular by citing polling data for selected features of the bill. However, President Bush yesterday implicitly acknowledged the strong public opposition to the bill by stating that elected officials will need political “courage” to pass the measure. Senator Jon Kyl (R), a major supporter of the legislation, acknowledged in interviews that the lack of support measured by Rasmussen Reports is an accurate reflection of the public mood.

Rasmussen Reports polling, like that of other firms, has found that Americans may be willing to accept a compromise proposal that includes legalizing the status of the 12 million illegal aliens already living in the United States. Sixty-five percent (65%) said they would accept such a compromise provided that it accomplished the primary goal of reducing illegal immigration. However, arguing about the nuances of amnesty, guest-worker programs and other provisions will do nothing to build popular support without proof that the government is serious about controlling the border.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters believe it is Very Important for “the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration.”

Many times, voters doubt that reasonable alternatives exist. But, 68% of Americans believe it is possible to reduce illegal immigration while just 20% disagree. A New York Times/CBS News poll found a similar result--82% believe the federal government could do more to reduce illegal immigration.

The belief that the issue could be addressed adds to the frustration of those who oppose the Senate bill. Sixty-six percent (66%) believe it doesn't make sense to debate new immigration laws until we can first control our borders and enforce existing laws.

Other recent surveys have found that Senator John McCain (R), a strong proponent of the Senate bill, has slipped to third place in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. President Bush’s Job Approval ratings have fallen to the lowest levels of his Administration since the immigration debate began dominating the news.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

16 comments:

Big Wave Dave said...

I have to wonder, of the 26% who favor the legislation, how big a factor with them is the conviction that "doing something is better than doing nothing."

Mark said...

One way the open borders nuts try to mislead people is by quoting poll results showing that a majority of Americans will accept amnesty in exchange for enforcement. Everytime I hear one of these polls quoted I want to scream. When Americans respond to polls like that, they're saying that under the assumption that the pollsters are referring to actual enforcement rather than the promise thereof. Every such poll needs to ask a follow up question: "If we get amnesty in exchange for enforcement, do you believe that congress and the president will actually keep those promises?"

I suspect the results would be revealing.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with accurate polls in an election year is that they give the chameleon-like politicians a chance to dissimulate. Mitt Romney, for instance, is from Utah and is a mormon, both of which make it highly likely he is pro-amnesty (Utah has some of the most lenient illegal immigration laws in the nation).

Yesterday I heard him trying to present himself as being against the Kennedy-Bush bill and I cringed. He did start to reveal his true colors as the interview progressed. It seems the amnesty bill has lots to recommend it and that McCain is one of Romney's good friends.

Anonymous said...

Looking ahead, it's inevitable that a credible Republican presidential candidate will pick up the restrictionist mantle. Will one of the credibles need an extra 10 percentage pts. heading into an early primary? or fear losing them to another candidate? a disengaged media/beltway establishment is no match for the hard poll numbers when campaign strategists look at their options.

Pass the Kool Aid said...

What needs to be shouted from the rooftops is that, without establishing effective border controls and enforcement, WE DON'T - AND, BY DEFINITION, CAN'T - HAVE A "POLICY" (other than open borders with varying degrees of inconvenience). We can have a legislative statment of how we would like things to be. We can enjoy a nice signing ceremony where our President will do further violence to the English language. We can pat ourselves on the back for our good intentions. But we can't have any kind of credible policy.

The encouraging thing is that the public seems to have caught on.

Luke said...

I suspect the majority of Americans who support more immigration from Mexico do so on humanitarian grounds. Those poor people, give them a break. All the more reason to focus on the effect on the majority of Mexicans left behind. There has been no economic growth in Mexico in 25 years (in GDP per capita, corrected for inflation). In the 25 years before it doubled. True bleeding hearts would oppose this bill.

Anonymous said...

According to talk show host Phil Valentine, the new immigration bill has language that accords 21 points if you are an agricultural worker (pick lettuce), but only 20 points if you are an M.B.A.

So much for the "high-skilled" workers we are to be bringing it. This thing is pathetic. We might as well bring in all of Zimbabwe and the poorest parts of South Africa, it would do less harm because none of them are for any kind of "reconquista".

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to a jaw-dropping video of a WSJ staff meeting on the immigration bill.

Editor Paul Gigot and his crew actually snicker and dismiss the legitimacy of defending one's own culture.

If you still have any questions about why this is all happening, this clip explains it all.

mepo said...

Pass the kool-aid has it right. Any fix that doesn't address the border and enforcement issues is worse than doing nothing. The current situation is screwed up, but at least isn't creating some kind of massive incentive for more immigrants to stream in.

tommy said...

If you still have any questions about why this is all happening, this clip explains it all.

No mocking the crack young staff* at the Wall Street Journal. Just look at the ethnic diversity displayed at that editorial page pow-wow. These people obviously understand the ups and downs of multiculturalism from personal experience. Trust them. And if you cannot trust them, then you had better remember one thing, bigot: this is Paul Gigot's world, you just live in it.


* Apologies to the Hatemonger's Quarterly for filching their trademark and also for dishonestly referring to the staff of the Wall Street Journal as "young."

Big Wave Dave said...

The only way that WSJ video could've been more depressing was if I had a son sitting at that table. Those are truly men of the moment, born and bred for sewing circle chat and unconditional surrender. This is what you get when you remove testosterone from a once rough-and-tumble profession. To think that our forefathers fought and died to bequeath this land to the likes of those gutless pansies. Heart breaking.

Anonymous said...

Editor Paul Gigot and his crew actually snicker and dismiss the legitimacy of defending one's own culture.,

It's legitimate but nonetheless ridiculous to defend one's "culture". Normal people defend not their culture but themselves.

the wily marmot said...

It's legitimate but nonetheless ridiculous to defend one's "culture". Normal people defend not their culture but themselves.

Since this "Nation of Immigrants" is denied a sense of peoplehood(that's racist) by the Propositionists, culture is a kind of code word for the historic American people,those who have-for the most part-assimilated into that people, and a First World way of life.

Mark said...

Any fix that doesn't address the border and enforcement issues is worse than doing nothing. The current situation is screwed up, but at least isn't creating some kind of massive incentive for more immigrants to stream in.

So does anyone have any thoughts on the million dollar question: why is the treason lobby pushing so hard for amnesty right now, if it only drives up their negatives in the polls?

I can think of 4 possible reasons - actually, six:

1) Perhaps they want to increase legal and illegal immigration even more, both of which are accomplished by this bill.

2) Perhaps because there are only so many jobs that unassimilated, illegal, non-English speaking people can do. Many jobs require some sort of federal or state qualification, even if only a driver's license.

Maybe they're trying to move the illegals into jobs where legality is required so they can make room for the next wave of 12 million illegals.

3) Since enforcing the law is largely up to the president, perhaps they're worried that the next president won't let it slide like Clinton and the last two Bush's did.

4) Perhaps the increasing pressure to enforce immigration laws at the local level is seriously starting to worry them.

5) Perhaps they really are just self-righteous a-holes who consider themselves to be far above the mundane concerns of mere plebes like us.

6) Perhaps they drank the Kool Aid.

mepo said...

I suspect the reason is that Bush wants to have his own way with this issue. It's becoming a grassroots issue, and he doesn't like the direction he thinks that will take policy.

The thing is, this is a really hard issue. I don't think there are any good solutions, because we have something like 12 M people here now illegally, most of whom are doing nothing more offensive than working two jobs to send money home to feed their families. Anything we do to send a large fraction of those people back home is going to be very painful, involving humanitarian tragedies, probably some bloodshed and unrest in the US, a lot of political backlash, and likely some kind of unrest in some of the home countries of the illegal immigrants. (What happens in Mexico or El Salvador when a noticeable fraction of the population comes home, stops sending money home, and is now hungry and looking for work?)

At the same time, leaving a pool of 12 M people here illegally makes it almost impossible to do meaningful enforcement, which is really the only way we're going to get a handle on illegal immigration. And giving the people here now amnesty resolves those two problems, but gives millions more the incentive to come in. We could in principle address that by strict enforcement, but that hasn't happened in the past, and there's little reason to expect it to happen in the future.

Mark said...

Anything we do to send a large fraction of those people back home is going to be very painful, involving humanitarian tragedies, probably some bloodshed and unrest in the US, a lot of political backlash, and likely some kind of unrest in some of the home countries of the illegal immigrants.

But like John O'Sullivan pointed out in the last National Review, this administration has no problem resorting to such tactics when it needs to appear tough on the issue, usually when the debate is raging. During last year's immigration debate, they staged the IFCO raid (of course, 80% of the "prisoners" were let loose - into the USA - shortly thereafter.)

Not only are these raids not bloody, but they are also extraordinarily popular with most Americans.

I understand that our economy has become addicted to illegals. I would strongly support doing something about that. But Bush has shown himself to be entirely unserious on the matter. Of the estimated 15 million illegals in this country, 5 million came in on his watch. With his support, workplace enforcement fell to almost nothing. More speeding tickets are given out in a day in my neighborhood than employers have been fined in entire years of the Bush Admininistration.

I think attrition would work. I think you should eliminate birthright citizenship for illegals and then sell about 10 million temporary visas. First million people to apply get 10 year visas, 2nd million get 9 years, 3rd million get 8 years and so on. At the end of the decade, they're all gone and the economy is weened off of their labor.

But I wouldn't support any plan - not even that one - with this amdininstration. They simply cannot be trusted.