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District-Level Polls to Reps. Nunes, Valadao, Denham: Supporting Immigration Will Only Help With Voters

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denham valadao nunesYesterday, PICO California and America’s Voice released new district-level polling and analysis finding that voters in three key California districts overwhelmingly support immigration reform with a path to citizenship (and specifically, HR 15, the House bill which legislates both) and that the Congressmen representing those districts would benefit enormously if they supported such a proposal.

As Seung Min Kim at Politico wrote about the poll and what it means for California Representatives Devin Nunes, David Valadao, and Jeff Denham (all Republicans):

More than 70 percent of likely voters in all three districts said they would support a bill that mirrored the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate in June, according to the polls. And in the three districts, 69 percent of voters said they would favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States, as long as the applicants paid fines, learned English, passed background checks, and waited at least 13 years. That’s the pathway sketched out in the Senate bill.

All three districts, located in California’s Central Valley, have populations that are all at least 40 percent Latino. Valadao’s district is 70 percent Latino.

A majority of voters in each district also said they would have a more favorable view of Republicans if Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform. For example, 54 percent voters in Denham’s district said they would find the GOP more favorable, while 19 percent they would find the party less favorable.

Of the three Republicans, the lawmaker who saw the most potential electoral gain from immigration was Denham, according to the polls. Forty-three percent of voters in his district said they would be more likely to cast a ballot for him if he sponsored legislation with a pathway to citizenship, while 26 percent said it would make them less likely to do so. For 25 percent of voters, it would make no difference.

Denham, Valadao, and Nunes are all surely aware of the power of the Latino vote in California and its influence on the GOP’s demographic future.  Indeed, all three are part of the 26 House Republicans who have come out in favor of immigration reform with a path to citizenship.  A Fresno Bee article covering the poll release obtained mostly-supportive quotes from the three Congressmen on immigration reform and the need to take action:

Nunes said it’s “vital” to national security and that he wants to “secure our dangerous southern border while providing a humane solution for illegal immigrants already in America.”

Valadao said immigration reform is one of his “top priorities” and that he is working on immigration policy that has “serious consequences” for thousands of families and industries.

Denham is also in support: “I am reviewing legislation recently introduced in the House closely, and (am) in negotiations and discussion with members on both sides of the aisle regarding this important topic.”

But words and quotes aren’t enough.  The House GOP has dithered on immigration reform all year, and it needs to take action as soon as possible.  One easy step that House Republicans who are supportive of reform can take is co-sponsoring HR 15, the House immigration bill that was released last week.  As the Fresno Bee put it, “Many supporters of immigration reform say they appreciate the statements and efforts, but hope more action is close at hand.”

By the way, in response to our tweets yesterday about the poll, the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA put out these tweets, essentially claiming that no such polls exist.  Since 88% of Americans overall support immigration reform with a path to citizenship, we beg to differ.



We’d caution Reps. Denham, Valadao, and Nunes against taking any advice from NumbersUSA and their friends in the John Tanton network.  Between supporting self-deportation and leading the GOP to wreck itself in national elections, the anti-immigrant crowd just doesn’t have a great track record of good advice.  If Reps. Denham, Valadao, and Nunes would like a conservative take on the recent poll, however, here’s a good one from Magellan Strategies.