On behalf of America’s Voice, Hart Research Associates conducted a poll of 1,608 Americans in Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri and Ohio from April 14-18, 2010.
Voters favor a comprehensive immigration reform plan by a 14 point margin. Even after exposure to harsh criticism from opponents and Democratic responses, a majority of voters still support the plan. Clear majorities support the plan in Colorado, Missouri and Ohio, while Arkansas voters are evenly divided. [America’s Voice/Hart Research Associates]
The comprehensive immigration reform plan was subjected to a variety of Republican attacks, yet voters still favor the comprehensive approach. These attacks included labeling the approach as “amnesty” and calling for a “border security first” approach. After hearing these attacks, voters still favor comprehensive immigration reform 52%-38% overall;by 56%-36% in Colorado; by 53%-42% in Missouri; and by 57%-30% in Ohio. [America’s Voice/Hart Research Associates]
Earned legalization is the plan’s strongest provision, not a vulnerability. The most convincing reason to support comprehensive immigration reform, according to 51% of the respondents, is that “immigrants will be required to get legal and pay their fair share of taxes,” vs. 21% who say it “cracks down on employers” who hire undocumented workers and only 15% who like the plan because it “improves border security.” [America’s Voice/Hart Research Associates]
Confidence in Democrats grows after a tough debate on the issue. In all four states, confidence in the Democrats to handle the immigration issue grows considerably after voters hear the plan and subsequent debate. Democrats start with a 12-percentage point deficit on “which party do you trust on immigration?” After describing reform proposals and related party positions, Democrats end with a 4-percentage point advantage – a 16-percentage point swing. [America’s Voice/Hart Research Associates]