As the immigration debate continues to heat up, the front page of Sunday’s Los Angeles Times tackled the subject with its article, “Immigration debate explodes despite voter desire for change. Across the country and locally, voters want immigration reform.
HighGround’s President Chuck Coughlin is quoted in the LA Times article:
“Even here in Arizona, a state known for taking one of the hardest lines on illegal immigration, there is a strong desire to see the political skirmishing end. ‘People want a solution,’ said Chuck Coughlin, a GOP strategist who has advised two of the state’s top Republicans, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer, who have sometimes worked at cross-purposes on the issue. ‘They’re tired of the partisan stalemate and the finger-pointing by both sides.’”
Coughlin’s position is backed by data that HighGround Public Opinion collected and highlighted earlier this year in our blog (click here to read the post). In the past few days, we’ve shared this data again to give some perspective on the immigration debate the demand for a solution. In the survey of high efficacy likely Republican voters conducted July 10-12, we found that over 65% of the respondents indicated that immigration and border issues were a ‘major public policy crisis’ with another 22% believed that it was a ‘serious issue.’
When asked about comprehensive immigration reform without any additional qualifiers, 51.5% of Republican primary voters stated that they supported the concept, while 30.0% opposed.
Q: Do you support or oppose comprehensive immigration reform?
22.5% Definitely Oppose
7.5% Probably Oppose
19.0% Probably Support
32.5% Definitely Support
18.5% Don’t Know, Refused
In our survey, we also found that a large majority Republican voters supported the “Gang of 8” proposal, from which the President has borrowed several concepts. Here is what we tested:
Q: Would you support an immigration reform policy that would secure the border with more agents, fencing and technology; crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants; provide a 10 year waiting time to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, but NOT citizenship; and develop a system to issue temporary visas for limited periods for both high and low skilled workers where jobs are not being filled?
10.0% Definitely No
5.8% Probably No
34.0% Probably Yes
43.0% Definitely Yes
7.3% Don’t Know, Refused
In fact, our survey also found that nearly 58% of Republicans would support raising Arizona taxes to secure the border and increase immigration enforcement. This willingness is born out of frustration and while the sentiment seemed shocking at the time, it is only likely to grow as the immigration situation intensifies.
The Arizona electorate will continue to wade through the rhetoric and demand actual solutions to this problem.