On behalf of America’s Voice and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Benenson Strategy Group conducted a poll of three battleground Congressional districts between May 27 and June 1, 2009. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters each in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, and California’s 3rd Congressional District. The margin of error was ± 4.38% in each district.
A majority of voters in these districts supported comprehensive immigration reform and candidates who support reform. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in these districts supported comprehensive immigration reform when asked generically (65% in ID-1, 65% in AL-2 and 67% in CA-3), while support climbed to nearly 90% after the details of comprehensive reform were explained (88% in ID-1, 87% in AL-2, and 83% in CA-3). Respondents were also more likely to support Congressional candidates who championed comprehensive reform rather than those who opposed it (85% in ID-1, 83% in AL-2, 79% in CA-3).
A majority of voters in these districts supported a pathway to citizenship over deportation. Two thirds of respondents preferred a comprehensive approach to the status quo of continued enforcement and forced departure (65% over 34% in ID-1, 63% over 35% in AL-2, 63% over 34% in CA-3). A vast majority chose legalization of undocumented workers that included a pathway to citizenship, over deportation or temporary status (65% in ID-1, 62% in AL-2, 63% in CA-3).
These voters believed that comprehensive reform is good for taxpayers and the economy. A majority of voters believed that comprehensive reform would be helpful and fair to taxpayers by making the undocumented into legal taxpayers. By a 3 to 1 margin, voters would rather turn undocumented immigrants into legal taxpayers than force them to leave because they are taking jobs (68% to 28% in ID-1, 65% to 31 in AL-2, 73% to 23%).
A majority of voters in these districts also believed the time for enacting comprehensive immigration reform is now. Seven in ten of these voters want Congress to act now on immigration. They said that the recession makes it more important that we address immigration and rejected the argument that the President and Congress should focus solely on other issues.