***UPDATE: Via twitter, NBC’s Mark Murray clarified the numbers as such, “54% of the center opposed a path to citizenship in the survey, and 58% of the center backed photo ID when voting”
NBC News and Esquire Magazine teamed up for a poll that is now being hailed across all NBC platforms for finding the “New American Center.” The poll finds that 51% of American are “bound by a surprising set of shared ideas.” One finding NBC News is choosing not to highlight is that 75% of those in the New American Center oppose “immigration reforms that would provide a path to citizenship for those who came here illegally.”
Because that 75% represents only the New American Center and not those who qualify as politically conservative (or liberal), it seems safe to assume that among those polled, somewhere around 80% oppose the Immigration Reform Bill that Democrats, some Republicans, and all of NBC is so aggressively pushing.
This so-called “New American Center” leans conservative in a number of other areas:
Majorities support offshore drilling (81 percent) and the death penalty (90 percent), and the end of affirmative action in hiring and education (57 percent). Most people in the center believe respect for minority rights has gone overboard, in general, harming the majority in the process (63 percent). And just one in four support immigration reforms that would provide a path to citizenship for those who came here illegally.
There is, though, a leftward streak in this same group:
…supporting gay marriage (64 percent), the right to an abortion for any reason within the first trimester (63 percent), and legalized marijuana (52 percent). Women, workers and the marginal would also benefit if the center had its way, supporting paid sick leave (62 percent); paid maternity leave (70 percent); tax-subsidized childcare to help women return to work (57 percent); and a federal minimum wage hike to no less than $10 per hour (67 percent).
The interesting distinction in the abortion number is that it focuses only on abortions in the first trimester. Obama, Democrats, and NBC News have been campaigning hard against late-term abortion laws. Most polls show that majorities favor restrictions to late-term abortion.
Overall, the poll found that 28% of respondents are conservative, 20% are liberal, and 55% identify themselves as moderate.
The biggest question I have is whether this poll will in any way affect NBC’s news coverage of issues a huge majority of Americans agree on — like opposition to a path to citizenship, favoring offshore drilling, and going overboard on racial stuff — which at times is MNBC’s whole reason for living.
When I took the poll (I’m a right-of-center “Whateverman”), it asked me about Voter ID laws. I can’t find the results on that particular issue in this particular poll, but most polls show something like 80% of the American people favor laws that require proof of ID to vote. NBC News does not.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC