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WP/ABC Poll: Most Back New Arizona Law

From the Washington Post:

Most Americans back new Arizona law, Washington Post-ABC News poll finds

By Jon Cohen and Tara Bahrampour
Thursday, June 17, 2010; A02

Most Americans support the new, controversial Arizona law that gives police there the power to check the residency status of suspected illegal immigrants.

But most also still back a program giving those here illegally the right to earn legal documentation, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll

Sure they do. (See below, as to how the pollsters managed to get this result.)

A further challenge for Democrats is that public disapproval over how President Obama is dealing with immigration has edged higher, with 51 percent of all respondents — and 56 percent of political independents — giving him negative ratings on the issue.

One unifying immigration concern is the widespread perception that the federal government is not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants from coming into the country. Overall, 75 percent of those polled fault border enforcement, and 83 percent support using National Guard troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexico line.

Views about the government’s performance on the border relate directly to assessments of the Arizona law: 67 percent of those who see inadequate federal action on the border favor the new law, compared with 31 percent of those who see sufficient enforcement along the 1,954-mile frontier. In all, 58 percent of Americans say they are supportive of the new law…

[T]he main divide on this question is ideological, with 83 percent of liberal Democrats and 34 percent of conservative Republicans preferring exclusive federal jurisdiction.

There is a steep racial divide on the Arizona question: 68 percent of whites back the law, compared with 31 percent of non-whites. White Democrats are about evenly divided on the bill (51 percent in favor; 47 percent opposed), while non-white Democrats are broadly opposed (24 percent support, and 73 percent oppose).

At the same time that a majority of Americans back the Arizona law, most say they support a program allowing illegal immigrants already in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet certain requirements. In the new poll, 57 percent support the option, close to the level in spring 2009 at the 100-day mark of Obama’s presidency

Here is the actual wording of the question:

“Would you support or oppose a program giving ILLEGAL immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here LEGALLY if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?”

It seems to us that “other requirements” is a fairly vague phrase. Even so, 57 percent claim that they would support such a program. Something we find quite hard to believe. But, as always, the pollsters seem to have oversampled Democrats to get the response they sought.

Here is what the pollsters asked regarding party affiliation:

“Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or what?”

And the response was: Democrat 32%  Republican 24% Independent 29% Other 3%. And we all know what these polls mean by "Independent."

Moreover, if you look at the answers to the other questions posed in the survey, the respondents uniformly gave Democrats far higher marks than Republicans on every issue.

The majority of the respondents even say they will vote for Democrats over the GOP in the upcoming elections. None of this would appear to reflect the general mood of the American public, at least according to other polls and recent election results.

All of which only goes to tell us that the Arizona law is so wildly popular that even the most dedicated pollsters are unable to get the results they really want.

But they will keep trying.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 17th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “WP/ABC Poll: Most Back New Arizona Law”

  1. JohnMG says:

    It took WP/ABC this long to arrive at the same conclusion that most of us did in the first fifteen minutes after Brewer signed the ligislation into law.

    Regardless, the MSM continued to thump the tub in the hopes they could skew the public thinking toward their own cant. Now they will pat themselves on the back, saying they were totally objective in their quest for the true feelings of the population, and go on to ignore the obvious as if it never happened.

    It is a wonder these shills have any readers and/or viewers at all.

  2. Papa Louie says:

    Maybe the Arizona law is redundant because, according to democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge, we already have the “right” to grab people on the street and demand they identify themselves. He told the student “I have the right to know who you are!” And he should know since he is one of the people who makes our laws. For all he knew the man didn’t want to identify himself because he was a foreign student who had overstayed his visa and didn’t want to be deported. Democrats don’t seem to be too upset with Rep Etheridge’s actions, so why do they have a beef with Arizona asking people to identify themselves?

    • Rusty Shackleford says:


    • proreason says:

      But Papa,

      Mr. Etheridge is one of our benevolent rulers.

      We have different standards in this country for the people who sacrifice so much to guide us because we are so incapable ourselves.

      They do work 4 days a week, sometimes up to 6 hours a days with only a month off in the summer, a month in the winter, all federal holidays off, the occasional quarterly work junket to Paris, Reno or Tahiti, and personal, on-call physicians, work-out facilities, free food, free travel and free blow jobs. Why, I’ve heard that there are even a couple of Congress people who aren’t millionaires yet.

  3. P. Aaron says:

    If most people back the Arizona law, why is it considered ‘controversial’? I would expect the press to call the law; ‘popular’.

  4. eaglewingz08 says:

    Sorry but my percentage training detector seems a bit off. If one adds 32 plus 24 plus 29 plus 3, one arrives at 88 percent response in the polling sample. What happened to the other TWELVE PERCENT? Are we polling in one of Obama’s 59 states now, so they don’t show up in the poll? Or is this an innocent typo by the poster or a not so innocent typo by the pollster?

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