Pioneering political pollster Pat Caddell told Breitbart News that the Breitbart/Gravis poll on immigration confirms that Americans have real concerns about immigration, even Democrats, going into the last 100 days of the presidential election.
“It seems to me that the Democratic leaders and candidates, in regards to immigration, they are not paying attention,” said Caddell, who, before become a popular cable news commentator, worked for several presidential campaigns, including the insurgent efforts of Sen. George S. McGovern (D-SD) in 1972 and Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO) in 1984.
“The Democratic politicians seem to believe that they are right and the public is wrong and that it will work out OK, it is like they are saying: ‘We want to be right and we are not changing — they are convincing themselves and I don’t know how they are doing it.’ The pollster said it was a symptom of the corruption of the consultant class in both parties, where political professionals are telling their clients what they want to hear, not what is really going on,” he said.
One of the reads that Caddell said he makes about the 2016 election cycle, and how immigration is playing a role in it, is that candidates touting ideology are not connecting with the voters. “This is not an ideological election, it is an insurgency election.”
The Breitbart/Gravis poll on immigration was conducted July 25 and July 26, with a random sample of 2,010 registered voters using automated telephone calls and weighted by voting patterns, said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll. The poll carries a 2.2 percent margin of error for results attributed to the whole sample. Specific subsections of the sample universe carry a higher margin of error.
Caddell said a good example to start with is the question dealing with Democratic nominee for president Hillary R. Clinton and her plan to open up the asylum process to illegal aliens.
Q: Thousands of illegal immigrants are arriving on the border day after day. Hillary Clinton says they should be released into the United States and given a chance to apply for asylum. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?
Caddell said he would have predicted results along the same lines as the poll, where 55 percent disagree and 32 percent agree. What surprised him inside the numbers was that 33 percent of Democrats disagreed.
“I mean a third of Democrats are against it,” he said. “Independents and Republicans heavily against that, OK, but one-third of Democrats? And, a fifth of Democrats are unsure? That’s not a good sign. That’s a sign that this immigration thing is not working for the Democratic Party.”
Q: Do you agree or disagree with this statement — Any politician who would rather import foreign workers to take jobs than give them to current U.S. residents is unfit to hold office.
While other questions demonstrated how out of touch the Democratic Party leadership is with Democratic voters, this question exposed a schism inside the Grand Old Party, according to Caddell.
“Look, 78 percent of Republicans agree with this, but it is their leaders, their politicians that are arguing for more foreign workers,” he said.
“This is the vast change inside the Republican Party on trade and immigration that has upset the conservative-Washington political class for the Republicans. It is against their canon,” he said.
“This is a warning for Republican politicians, this ain’t working the way they think it’s working. Their voters are out of the box — I mean, they are gone,” he said. “Donald Trump didn’t make them leave, he didn’t create this. This was created by themselves.”
In the case of Democrats, 49 percent agree, 25 percent disagree, and 26 percent are uncertain, he said. “Again, there is more to learn about that.”
Q: Do you agree or disagree with this statement — Wall Street donors want more immigration because they want to keep wages low?
The response from the whole sample was 43 percent agree, 27 percent disagree, and 30 percent uncertain. Broken down by party and agreement with the statement: It was Democrats, 35 percent; independents, 42 percent; and Republicans, 54 percent.
Caddell said this was another example of the disconnect between the Republican leadership and everyday Republicans.
“Look at Republicans,” he said. “Fifty-four percent agree and 13 percent disagree. This is the Wall Street party? I don’t think so. Their negativity on Wall Street is stunning. I am sure many people have not even heard about this issue. It is a new idea for them, so what happens when they find out that this is a reality?”
The pollster said there is a feeling in the electorate already that Wall Street is up to no good.
“When you put Wall Street and immigration together, you start mixing a potion, a cocktail that is politically very powerful,” he said.
Q: Every three years, the United States admits a population of new immigrants the size of Los Angeles. Do you think this amount of immigration is — Too High? Just Right? Not High Enough?
For this question, 63 percent said immigration was too high, with 26 percent saying it was just right and 11 percent saying it was not high enough. Broken down by party: Too High was the choice of 53 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of independents, and 78 percent of Republicans.
“Boy, that is interesting,” Caddell said.
“To see the Democratic numbers what they are being at variance from the mean by only 10 points?” he said. “There is definitely something in the air.”
This question, like the poll in general, confirm that the electorate is way ahead of the politicians, especially Democratic politicians, he said.
If anything, the poll also confirms that there is a need to go deeper into these questions with other questions designed to draw out voters attitudes on immigration with precise follow-up, he said.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with this statement: Record amounts of immigration into the U.S. have strained school resources and disadvantaged U.S. children?
Caddell said, in the responses to this question, he could see a real partisan break.
Looking at the whole sample, 53 percent agree, 33 percent disagree, and 14 percent are uncertain. Broken down by party” Agree was the choice of 78 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of Democrats, and 51 percent of independents. On the disagree side was 44 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of independents, and 14 percent of Republicans.
But, again, you see Democrats wavering,” he said. “You have one-third of Democrats agreeing and only 44 disagreeing and the question addresses their party’s own policy and look how undecided the Democrats are, compared to independents or Republicans.” Republicans were 8 percent uncertain and independents were 11 percent uncertain.
“This to me means that when Democrats say they are uncertain, it means that they have got problems,” he said.