In the wake of the shutdown and fiscal debacle, immigration reform has reemerged at the top of the national agenda, providing an important opportunity for the Republican Party to repair its image.
New polls from five key Republican districts in Colorado and Nevada show overwhelming support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship from likely 2014 voters across the political spectrum.
On a press call today, pollsters, local conservative leaders and national immigration advocates discussed new polling that examines opinions of likely 2014 voters on immigration reform in districts represented by Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Scott Tipton (R-CO). The polls were conducted between October 16th and October 18th by Magellan Strategies, a Republican-affiliated polling firm.
According to David Flaherty, Colorado-based Founder and CEO of Magellan Strategies:
One of the biggest conclusions to draw from this research is that voters across every demographic, including Republicans, will overwhelmingly support immigration reform legislation that ensures undocumented immigrants currently living in the US pay a penalty, learn English, pass a criminal background check, pay taxes and wait a minimum of 13 years before they can become eligible for citizenship. As long as those elements are in any proposed bill these Representatives can feel comfortable taking a leadership role in passing immigration reform as they can expect support among 63% or more of all likely 2014 voters, and more than 70% support from Republican voters.
According to new polls, the vast majority of likely voters across all five Republican-held districts—Mark Amodei, Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Joe Heck and Scott Tipton—support immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.
The polls from Magellan Strategies, though, also reveal that Americans are hungry for leadership, bipartisanship, and problem-solving. Voters in these districts would have a more favorable opinion of their respective Representatives if they actually work with other Republicans and Democrats to pass immigration reform.
Results for Mark Amodei
In Rep. Amodei’s district, 72% of likely 2014 voters support legislation along the lines of HR 15, including 70% of Republicans. If Rep. Amodei were to sponsor legislation along these lines, 36% of voters say they would have a more favorable opinion of him, while 31% say it would not change their opinion either way. Forty-five percent of Republicans say they would have a more favorable view of Amodei if he sponsors the bill.
Results for Joe Heck
In Rep. Heck’s district, 74% of likely 2014 voters support legislation along the lines of HR 15, including 71% of Republicans. Further, a full 68% of voters—and 74% of Republicans–said that they support the path to citizenship that includes the requirements laid out in HR 15. If Rep. Heck were to take a leadership role and work with other Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation along these lines, 40% of likely voters in this District say they would have a more favorable opinion him and 31% say their opinion wouldn’t change.
Said Ronald Najarro, Southwest Press Secretary of The Libre Initiative in Las Vegas, Nevada, “These findings echo the sentiments of the American people all across the country that in larger numbers are in favor of fixing our broken immigration system. Nevada stands much to gain in this historic effort, and it’s time our elected leaders took this message to Washington and come to a bipartisan solution. We encourage , Congressman Heck, Congressman Amodei, and the House of Representatives to show leadership and to listen to what their constituents are saying – Vote yes to passing Immigration Reform, as it is vital for the economic recovery and prosperity of the State of Nevada, its residents, and our nation.”
Results for Mike Coffman
In Colorado, a strong majority of voters across all three districts supports immigration reform with citizenship. In Rep. Mike Coffman’s district, 74 percent of likely 2014 voters support immigration legislation along the lines of HR 15, including 71% of Republicans. If Coffman were to sponsor legislation along these lines, 36% of voters say they would hold a more favorable opinion of him, while the same percentage say it would not change their opinion either way.
Results for Cory Gardner
In Rep. Gardner’s district, 76% of likely 2014 voters support legislation along the lines of HR 15, including 77% of Republicans. When asked to choose between citizenship for all 11 million immigrants or just immigrant youth (DREAMers), fifty-one percent of voters prefer an inclusive path to citizenship that deals with all the 11 million, while 29% say they prefer a path that deals with DREAMers only. Fifty-three percent of Republicans and 55% of Latinos support the more inclusive option.
Results for Scott Tipton
Finally, in Rep. Tipton’s district, 77% of likely 2014 voters support legislation along the lines of HR 15, including 74% of Republicans. When asked to choose between citizenship for all 11 million immigrants or just immigrant youth (DREAMers), a full 53% support an inclusive pathway to citizenship that deals with all the 11 million over 27% who say that they prefer a path that deals with DREAMers only.
Bruce Talbott, Founder of Talbott Farms in Palisades, Colorado, said:
I’m a fruit grower here in western Colorado, and our existence is directly tied to the quality of our labor force. If we don’t have a viable labor force, we have to go offshore or outside of our borders to somewhere where that labor force exists. I’m not at all surprised to see what the polls in western Colorado, district 3, show. They reflect the American values of a fair shake, a fair chance. Right now we have a shadow community that is not good for employers, employees, or the community in general. We need to solve the problem.
“The support for immigration reform in Aurora and across our district is unmistakable,” said Aurora City Councilmember Barb Cleland. “ I hope all our representatives will be an example for Republicans across the country to work in a bipartisan fashion to get immigration reform done this year. It’s right for our city, our state and our country.”
While immigrants and advocates are demanding action from both parties, it is Republicans who hold the keys to the agenda in the House. While some of these Republicans have publicly voiced their support for citizenship, others have remained silent. The polling shows their constituents are looking for them to not just talk the talk but walk the walk by supporting legislation like HR 15 (a version which already passed the Senate) and scheduling a vote this year.
Concluded Patty Kupfer, Managing Director of America’s Voice, who’s organization sponsored the poll:
How often do you have an issue that has broad bipartisan support in Congress, 70+ percent support from constituents, strengthens the economy, is good politics for both parties and moves the country forward?” Kupfer added, “The shutdown was a disaster for Congress and Republicans especially. When I look at Mike Coffman’s numbers, all I can think is, he should have signed on to the new House immigration bill the day it was introduced. Or he should be calling John Boehner every day, demanding the leadership move a bill forward. However we get to the finish line, what’s important to remember is that voters are looking for action and leadership from these members, not just words.
LINKS AND RESOURCES
- Link to Polling Toplines, Crosstabs and Power Point Presentations for all 5 Districts:
- Recording of today’s call