Statewide and congressional district-wide polling was conducted for America’s Voice by Benenson Strategy Group and Lake Research Partners before and after the 2008 November election. The Benenson Strategy Group and Lake Research Partners conducted 3371 poll of likely voters in 9 swing congressional districts from September 23 to October 5. The margin of error for overall results is ±1.89%.
402 swing district general election voters were also interviewed after the election from November 6 – November 9, 2008. The margin of error for the post-election poll was +/-4.89%.
Percentage of voters in swing districts who believed immigration was a “serious problem” remained stable before and after the 2008 election.In pre-election polling, 84% of swing district voters believed that immigration was a serious problem, 79% of Democrats, 83% of independents, and 92% of Republicans. In post-election polling, 80% of voters believed that immigration was a serious problem.
After the election, 46% of voters believed immigration reform was a high priority. Forty-six percent of voters polled after the election believed enacting immigration reform was a high priority. Only 15% of voters considered it a low priority, while 37% said it was medium.
Sixty-seven percent of voters surveyed after the election believed undocumented immigrants should be eligible for a pathway to citizenship. In post-election polling, 67% of voters in the nine swing districts surveyed believed that the 12 million undocumented in the country should be required to register to become legal, undergo background checks and be provided a pathway to citizens. Only 16% said they should be required to leave the country, 10% thought they should be allowed to stay temporarily, and 7% said they did not know.
Sixty-six percent of voters would rather allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and become legal taxpayers than force them to leave on the theory that they are “taking American jobs.” Sixty-six of respondents believed that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to become legal taxpayers rather than forcing them to leave the country because they were taking American jobs, while only 23% said they should leave the country.
Sixty-six percent of voters prefer comprehensive immigration reform to other options, including border enforcement. According to the polls, 66% of swing district voters favor a comprehensive approach to immigration reform over other options, while 27% prefer other options.
Sixty-four percent of voters, including 74% of Democrats, wanted to see Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of voters said they preferred passage of a new comprehensive immigration reform bill to enforcing current legislation, while only 27% said they preferred enforcement of current legislation to a new bill. Support is bipartisan: 74% of Democrats, 64% of independents, and 54% of Republicans all support comprehensive reform. Furthermore, 63% of voters who were conflicted about which candidate to support preferred comprehensive reform to enforcement of current law.
Seventy percent of voters believed undocumented immigrants should be eligible for a pathway to citizenship, rather than receiving temporary status or being deported. Almost 70% of voters in swing districts supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Only 15% believed undocumented immigrants should be forced to leave, while 13% believed that they should be granted temporary status.