With all the sensational campaign coverage of immigration issues this month, NumbersUSA commissioned Pulse Opinion Research to find out how those issues are affecting the views of likely midterm voters in congressional districts with the closest races. Those are the races that will determine which Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives.
CARAVANS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA?
One week before Election Day, the likely voters in the "Toss Up" congressional districts who will decide which Party will control the U.S. House of Representatives had these views:
- Only 12% want to see a continuation of the long-time catch-and-release policy of letting people who claim asylum at the border move freely around the country until their asylum hearing at some future time.
- 65% want all caravans stopped before they reach the U.S. border. (The 65% are divided into two groups: 25% would allow people to cross into the U.S. only after they have been approved to do so through an asylum hearing in Mexico; 40% would send them all back to home countries or "safe countries" in between to apply for asylum there.)
- 18% would let the caravans cross the border but would detain them until they have made it through asylum hearings
- Only 4% of the likely voters had no opinion on this explosive issue.
Here is the precise wording of the question:
(QUESTION) As you know, a caravan of several thousand Central Amerians is moving toward our southern border to apply for asylum in the United States. Should the U.S. government stop all of them from entering the country, or require them to remain in Mexico until their asylum applications have been decided, or let them enter the United States but detain them until their asylum applications have been decided, or allow them to move freely around the country until their asylum hearing at some future time?
ABOUT THE POLL
I'll give you more results below, but first I want you to know more about the poll so you can evaluate the results on your own.
Our map shows the Toss Up districts that were surveyed.
These are the Toss Up congressional district numbers:
California 10, 25, 39, 45, 48 and Florida 15, 26, 27
Iowa 3 and Illinois 6 and Kansas 2
Kentucky 6 and Maine 2 and Michigan 8, 11
Minnesota 1 and North Carolina 9, 13
New Jersey 3, 7 and New Mexico 2
Nevada 3 and New York 19, 22
Pennsylvania 1 and Texas 7, 32
Utah 4 and Virginia 5, 7 and Washington 8
Before commissioning the poll, I found I was most interested in the congressional districts that the non-partisan Real Clear Politics says are "Toss Up" races. That is, the analysts consider these not only too close to predict but not even leaning toward one candidate or the other. The poll was of a representative sample of 1,000 likely voters in the 31 districts that Real Clear Politics identified as Toss Up as of last Friday (Oct. 26). The margin of sampling error was +/- 3%, with a 95% level of confidence, which is a standard goal. The phone poll began over the weekend and ended on Monday this week. We commissioned Pulse Opinion Research, which is an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports.
My statement to the news media about the poll results included:
It remains to be seen whether the voters' strong opinions for less immigration will be a determining factor in how they cast their ballots. But regardless of who wins the Toss Up districts next Tuesday, the victors will be going to Congress next year representing constituents who overwhelmingly want both legal and illegal immigration reduced."
By a 2-to-1 margin, likely voters in Toss Up districts want to limit family migration to spouse and minor children. This has been NumbersUSA's top legislative priority since we began in 1996. The President has just this last week again reiterated that ending chain migration of extended family members is one of the immigration changes he most wants.
(QUESTION) When individuals in other countries are allowed to immigrate to the United States because of their skill or humanitarian need, who should be able to eventually follow them?
63% -- Spouse and minor children only
30% -- Extended family in addition to spouse and minor children
7% -- Not sure
ANNUAL LEGAL IMMIGRATION?
The majority of likely voters in these districts want what most of the mainstream media describe as a fringe position: cuts in legal immigration:
56% say cut the numbers
32% say don't cut the numbers
(QUESTION) Current federal policy adds about one million new permanent immigrants to the United States each year. Which is closest to the number of new permanent immigrants the government should be adding each year?
People were asked to choose one of six stated numbers.
34% -- fewer than 250,000
14% -- 500,000
8% -- 750,000
CHOICES NOT TO REDUCE:
16% -- one million
7% -- one and a half million
9% -- more than two million
13% -- not sure
GRAND COMPROMISE IN NEXT CONGRESS?
Toss Up district voters are in the mood to break the decades-long impasse in Congress and accept a compromise to move a lot of issues off the table. By a nearly 3-to-1 margin, Toss Up voters like the idea of a compromise that would be similar to what narrowly lost in the House last spring. The pro-compromise side is filled with people who want the reductions we want and are willing to accept something like a so-called "Dreamer" amnesty to get them -- and, likewise, people who want a "Dreamer" amnesty and are willing to accept the reductions to get it.
(QUESTION) Do you support a compromise being considered by Congress that would give lifetime work permits to certain young adults who came to the United States illegally as children, and that also would reduce future immigration by ending extended family migration and by mandating that employers use E-Verify?
But voters reject a proposed "wall-for-amnesty" compromise. Key Democrats and Republicans in Congress have proposed a much simpler compromise that would trade a "Dreamer" amnesty for "wall" funding. Some are floating the idea of doing this during the Lame Duck session after the election. Pres. Trump at times has acted interested. Likely voters in Toss Up districts are NOT interested.
(QUESTION: Do you support another compromise being considered that would legalize certain young-adult illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children and would greatly increase walls and fencing on the Mexico border, but would keep total immigration at one million a year, while continuing extended family migration and allowing employers to hire without checking legal status with E-Verify?
UNFORTUNATELY . . .
Unfortunately, most of the candidates in these 31 Toss Up districts have not told voters where they stand on the issues noted above. To the extent that they have made any positions known, you can check them out by clicking on https://www.numbersusa.com/candidate-comparison/election/2018 and then clicking on the map to find the congressional race of your interest.
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Nov 2nd 2018 @ 12:02pm EDT