Washington, DC – While Ann Coulter and fellow travelers may be up in arms about the prospect of a bipartisan legislative agreement in support of Dreamers, a majority of GOP voters support Trump’s move to resolve immigration issues with Democrats. New polling shows that these nativist elites do not represent the views of most Republican voters, the Trump base, self-identified conservatives, or Tea Party supporters.
A Monmouth University poll finds that a combined 65% of Americans would be satisfied, compared to just 29% dissatisfied, if President Trump “softened” his stance on immigration. Among Republican voters in the poll, a combined 55% would be satisfied (14% “very” and 41% “somewhat”) and a combined 39% dissatisfied (19% “somewhat” and 20% “very”) if Trump softened on immigration.
As Patrick Murray, the Monmouth poll director, stated, “Breathless commentary about how Trump’s base would surely make him pay if he departs from a presumed orthodoxy on this issue demonstrates a continued misunderstanding of Trump’s appeal … This is not to say that Breitbart and other leading anti-immigrant voices are without influence. However, the poll results suggest that if the so-called alt-right decided to wage a protracted war with the president on immigration policy, they could potentially find their rank and file abandoning them rather than Trump.”
Of note, Trump voters’ support for his “softening” – yes they use the actual word – on immigration did not ask specifically about Dreamers – where the numbers among GOP voters and Trump supporters are even bigger. A Politico/Morning Consult poll, fielded after President Trump’s decision to end DACA, highlights that Republicans and Trump voters each back legislation that would allow Dreamers to stay in the United States, rather than be deported.
When asked, “When it comes to legislation regarding Dreamers, which of the following would you most like Congress to pass?”
- 70% of Republican voters support either citizenship (46%) or legalization (24%), while 20% backed deportation.
- 67% of 2016 Trump voters support either citizenship (41%) or legalization (26%), while 20% back deportation.
- 74% of conservatives support either citizenship (50%) or legalization (24%), while 14% back deportation.
- 69% of Tea Party backers support either citizenship (45%) or legalization (24%), while 22% back deportation.
- Overall, 73% of Americans support either citizenship (54%) or legalization (19%) for Dreamers, while only 12% of the public backs deportation.
See Q25 in the crosstabs for the detailed breakdown of thenational poll, which featured responses from 1,976 registered voters.
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post sums up the implications:
Are Republicans okay with Trump’s immigration dealmaking because they aren’t actually as far-right as he is on the issue? Or are they warming to a softened immigration platform because Trump has now signaled that’s his intention? It’s likely a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B. We’ve seen ample evidence that Trump’s supporters are willing to see his moves in the most favorable light, and this poll suggests there is plenty of that when it comes to his dealings with Democrats. When a pollster asks whether Republicans would be okay with Trump doing something, it’s clear their default is more toward “yes” than “no.” Polls have repeatedly shown GOP voters are averse to compromise with Democrats on their core values; but suddenly Trump does exactly that, and it’s A-okay with them.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “The nativist chorus is out of touch with the Trump choir. Ann Coulter, Steve King and Mark Krikorian think they speak for his base, but it turns out that Trump’s willingness to work with Democratic leadership to help Dreamers stay in America is supported by most Americans, most Republicans and most Trump voters. So much for last week’s narrative that Trump is risking his base by standing up for Dreamers and working with Chuck and Nancy to do so.”
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice Education Fund on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice
America’s Voice Education Fund – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform