America's Voice En Español »

America's Voice

 

In 14 of 16 GOP Primary Exit Polls, Voters Support Legalization over Deportation

 

Exit polling from yesterday’s primary contests included some questions relevant to immigration policy and politics. Below is a snapshot of information from yesterday as well as from earlier in the 2016 primary season.

  • In each of yesterday’s 5 states with Republican primary exit polls, GOP primary voters supported offering undocumented immigrants “a chance to apply for legal status” instead of deportation, while also ranking immigration lowest among the four “most important issues” tested.

Adding yesterday’s results to the earlier states, this means:

  • In 14 of the 16 states where Republican primary exit pollshave asked the question, GOP primary voters supported offering undocumented immigrants legalization instead of deportation.

Below is a state-by-state breakdown from yesterday’s primaries of relevant state exit poll information about immigration and Latino political engagement, followed by an aggregate snapshot of all the primary season exit polls.

FL: 

  • Latinos were 16% of the Florida Republican primary electorate and 57% of this Latino voter subset supported Rubio (Trump received 24%).
  • For FL GOP primary voters, immigration ranked 4thof 4 “most important” issues tested at 12% – ranking well behind economy/jobs (34%), government spending (26%), and terrorism (23%).
  • By a 54%-38% margin, Florida Republicans believe undocumented immigrants should be offered legal status (54%) instead of deported (38).
  • In Democratic primary in FL, Latinos were 20% (supported Clinton over Sanders by a 69%-31% margin). The Democratic exit polls didn’t ask immigration on most important issue or the legalization Q.

IL: 

  • Among Republican primary voters in IL, immigration ranked 4th out of 4 “most important issues” asked at 9%. That ranked the issue behind jobs/economy (39%), government spending (32%), and terrorism (16%).
  • By a 56%-40% margin, IL GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation.
  • Among Republican primary voters in IL, Latinos were 2% (too small a sample size to have a breakdown by candidate support).
  • Among Democratic primary voters in IL, 9% of the Democratic electorate was Latino – this Latino Democratic subset of voters split 49% for each of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
  • Unlike on Republican side, the Democratic exit polling did not ask about either immigration’s ranking as most important issue or the Democratic voters’ views on legalization vs. deportation.

MO: 

  • Among GOP primary voters, Immigration ranked 4thof 4 most important issues tested at 11%.
  • By a 53%-42% margin, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation.

NC:

  • Among GOP primary voters, Immigration ranked 4thof 4 most important issues tested at 9%.
  • By a 54%-39% margin, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation.

OH:

  • Among GOP primary voters, Immigration ranked 4thof 4 most important issues tested at 8%.
  • By 56%-38% margin, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation.

Below is the updated full snapshot at state exit polling from 2016, now updated through yesterday’s results (March 15th

Republican Primary Voters Consistently Support Legalization for Undocumented Immigrants Instead of Deportation: In 14 of the 16 states where Republican primary exit polls asked the question, GOP primary voters supported offering undocumented immigrants “a chance to apply for legal status” instead of mass deportation:

  • In Virginia, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 59%-36% margin
  • In Michigan, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 56%-37% margin
  • In Ohio, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 56%-38% margin
  • In Illinois, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 56%-40% margin
  • In New Hampshire, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 56%-41% margin
  • In North Carolina, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 54%-39% margin
  • In Florida, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 53%-38% margin
  • In Georgia, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 53%-39% margin
  • In Missouri, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 53%-42% margin
  • In South Carolina, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 53%-44% margin
  • In Oklahoma, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 50%-47% margin
  • In Tennessee, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 49%-45% margin
  • In Texas, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 47%-43% margin
  • In Arkansas, GOP primary voters supported legalization over deportation by a 47% – 44% margin
  • Alabamaand Mississippi were the two states where GOP primary voters supported deportation over legalization, by a 50%-45% margin in AL and a 51%-46% margin in MS

Republican Primary Voters Consistently Rank Immigration Last Among Top-Priority Issues Tested: In 19 of the 20 states with Republican primary or caucus entrance/exit polls, immigration ranked last in the “what is your most important issue priority” test (behind jobs/economy; government spending; and terrorism).