Immigration Poll: Public Trusts Democrats More than GOP

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Americans have less trust in GOP leaders to handle immigration policy than they have in Democrats, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,006 adults.

The September 18-21 poll asked: “Which political party … do you trust to do a better job handling immigration?”

Forty-four percent picked Democrats, and just 43 percent picked Republicans. “Neither ” scored seven percent, “both” got two percent, and four percent reported no opinion.

The one-point difference poll was not crudely biased in favor of President Joe Biden. He only got a 39 percent approval from the respondents, even as he holds a 43 percent approval rate in an average of polls maintained by RealClearPolitics.com.

And the one-point  difference is within the 3.5 percent error margin of the poll, which means the GOP may have more trust than the Democrats.

But other polls corroborate the GOP’s 43 percent score. An August 2022 poll of 1,578 registered voters shows that just 44 percent of Americans say the GOP is “best able to handle” immigration.

That Wall Street Journal poll, however, showed that just 23 percent of the voters trust the Democrats.

Still, the result is surprising because many polls show strong majorities of Americans oppose the mass migration invited by Democrats and oppose the outsourcing of jobs supported by both parties.

However, the jarring result comes as GOP politicians and their corporate donors downplay the pocketbook pain of President Joe Biden’s welcome for millions of illegal migrants.

And the donor-boosted leaders of the party are emphasizing crime and inflation instead of the immigration issue that carried President Donald Trump to power in 2016.

“There are a few Republicans who have been talking about immigration incessantly, but most of them don’t,” said Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA. She told Breitbart News:

They’re being told by the pollsters … [ that] inflation and crime are much easier to talk about without risking saying the wrong thing [that allows the] media to pick to up your speech and call you a racist. That doesn’t happen if you’re talking about inflation.

For example, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) heads the House GOP’s 2023 campaign team and visited Breitbart News Saturday on September 17 to outline the party’s midterm message.

A vote for a Republican is a vote to get the cost of living back under control and restore American energy independence … for safety and security in our communities, in our states, in our country, and around the world … [for a] secure border … [and] putting parents back in charge of the decisions they believe are most important when it comes to their children and their own personal lives.

But the party’s leaders do need to offer voters something on immigration, otherwise many GOP base voters may choose to stay home out of disgust. A Harvard-Harris poll showed that GOP voters view immigration as a more important issue than crime. The poll showed that 32 percent of Republicans rate immigration as one of their top-two issues, compared to just 25 percent who rated crime as one of their top-two issues.

Even a donor-funded poll showed much more support in swing districts for action against migration than against crime.

So the GOP’s leader in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) posted a campaign platform promising to enforce border laws. His Commitment to America plan downplays the economic and pocketbook impacts of migration — either legal or illegal — and it only includes a few major commitments.

Still, McCarthy’s promises were touted by the American-first groups, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform. They tout the promises because the commitments will help GOP legislators overcome resistance from pro-migration lobbies in 2023.

McCarthy’s plan pushed the GOP beyond its crude “Biden bad” pitch, said Jenks, adding:

I think the the Taskforce report and the [McCarthy’s] Commitment to America was a small attempt to give Republican [candidates] some more specifics to talk about — “We’re going to end catch and release, we’re going to build the border wall, we’re going to beef up Border Patrol, we’re going to fund ICE.” Those kinds of things are a little bit more specific than just “Biden bad.”

I do think that the leadership is trying to give their members actual solutions, like “We’re not just opposing Biden, here’s what we would do.” They’re doing that effectively. I don’t know whether the members are taking that and running with it.

Yet McCarthy’s campaign document was panned by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson: “You probably haven’t read it. Nobody really cares. Why? Because there’s nothing real in it,” he said on September 26 as he argued  that government-delivered migration is damaging Americans’ families:

How are my kids? Will they have a life that resembles mine? That was called the America dream. Does it still exist? Will they be able to live the way they grew up? Will they have the opportunities that we had? No. People are upset about that. Why wouldn’t they be? But nobody says it.

The investors and corporate donors who help fund the GOP oppose significant curbs on migration.

They fund many polls and most of the GOP’s campaign ads, and so their ads downplay the economic and pocketbook costs of migration. Instead, they focus on border chaos, crime, and drugs, according to a collection of GOP campaign ads displayed by a corporate-funded, pro-migration group, America’s Voice.

The above ad is funded by the GOP’s major donor group, the Congressional Leadership Fund. The fund relies heavily on donors who gain from the inflow of migrant workers, renters, and consumers. Much of the group’s funding comes from billionaire investors, such as Charles R. Schwab, Paul Singer, and Kenneth Griffin,

These business groups want to minimize the visibility of immigration in the election.

They do not want the GOP to showcase the issue, they do not want anyone to credit immigration promises for a GOP victory, and they really do not want to see their tax-cutting priorities demoted by a leadership focus on immigration.

These goals mean the donors’ primary priority is electing enough GOP legislators to stop a Democratic majority from passing new taxes or regulations.

Their secondary priority is to prevent a big win by GOP populists in the House or Senate because that populist bloc might shrink legal immigration and curb the export of U.S. jobs.

So the donors’ easiest-to-achieve win is a modest congressional victory for the establishment GOP that curbs Biden’s White House and also sidelines both the tax-raising congressional Democrats and the migration-cutting congressional populists.

The political calculus helps to explain the weak GOP leadership that leaves many Americans on the sidelines of the issue.

September 17-20 poll by YouGov asked 1,500 adult citizens: “In general, do you think immigration makes the U.S. better off or worse off, or does it not make much difference?”

One-third of the respondents shrugged their shoulders, saying immigration “doesn’t make much difference” (20 percent) or “Not sure” (14 percent).

Just 31 percent said it made the U.S. “worse off” while 35 percent said it makes the U.S. “better off.”

The weak public response exists alongside strong opposition to illegal migration.

The poll showed that 61 percent of Americans agree that illegal immigration is a problem, while just 13 percent said “Not sure.”

And there is plenty of room within both parties to champion pocketbook-themed curbs on migration. GOP voters split 56 percent for “worse” and 18 percent for “better.” Democrats split 14 percent for “worse,” and 51 for “better.”

The GOP is also limited because the establishment media hides the economic and pocketbook impact of migration from ordinary voters, said Jenks.

For example, immigration was mentioned only twice in a Washington Post article about the GOP’s midterm focus on spotlighting crime concerns. The primary mention came in the last paragraph of the 39-paragraph September 25 article:

Republicans, including Trump, are also increasingly seeking to connect crime with their immigration message, making the argument that lax security at the southern border is a threat to national security and also fuels the illicit drug trade. “It is a natural fit and is out there quite a bit and will happen more,” said [Curt] Anderson, the [Senate] GOP strategist.

“Voters have to be paying attention and go to [non-establishment] media sources to find out what’s really happening,” said Jenks.

Low-information voters are more likely to respond to pitches on inflation or crime, she added:

When you think about what it’s easiest to campaign on, every state in the Union is seeing a massive number of fentanyl deaths. That is something that everyday Americans — low information voters — see around them. They don’t necessarily see how this mass illegal immigration is increasing their rents.

It is harder for a politician to connect dots for people than it is to point out the obvious which is that your neighbor is dying of fentanyl … because Biden has opened the border. [Politicians] need soundbites that are clear and understandable — and unchallengeable. You don’t want to come out with a soundbite that then is going to be fact checked by some lefty group.

“The media picks and chooses what it wants to allow the narrative to be,” said Jenks. “It’s an obstacle [that] you have to overcome to get your narrative out.”

Many polls show the public wants to welcome some immigration. But the polls also show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs needed by young U.S. graduates.

This “Third Rail” opposition is growinganti-establishment, multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-based, bipartisanrationalpersistent, and recognizes the solidarity that American citizens owe to one another.

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