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New Immigration Poll: Voters See Damage Steve King Does to GOP; Want Boehner to Lead Party and Nation Forward

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Frank Sharry: “Speaker Boehner Allowed Steve King a Vote to Deport DREAMers, Why Not a Similar Vote on a Path to Citizenship?”

New polling released today by Public Policy Polling (PPP) demonstrates that voters grasp the damage Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) immigration approach is having on the GOP and want Republicans in Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.  Voters also believe that Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) verbal condemnation of Rep. King’s comments is not enough, and that the House should move forward on a comprehensive immigration fix in 2013.

  • Shared Understanding that Steve King’s Comments are Damaging to GOP: Respondents believe Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) infamous comments comparing DREAMers to drug smugglers to be damaging to the Republican Party’s image, with 59% saying the comments hurt the GOP’s image, while only 16% believe such comments actually help the GOP.  Among Republicans, 40% said Rep. King’s comments hurt the Party’s image, versus 29% who said that they helped.
  • Voters Don’t Think Speaker Boehner’s Verbal Criticism of Steve King is Enough – They Want House Action on Reform:  Speaker of the House John Boehner criticized Rep. King’s remarks last week, while at the same time claimed that King’s comments “make it more difficult” to move forward on reform.  When asked if Speaker Boehner’s remarks and reaction were “an appropriate response, or do you think Boehner should do more to pass comprehensive immigration reform?” voters across all political ideologies want Speaker Boehner and the House to move forward on legislative reform.  Fifty-eight percent of voters say the House leadership should do more to pass reform, while only 23% say that Boehner’s response was good enough.  Of note, 43% of Republicans want the House to act on comprehensive reform, versus 32% who felt Boehner’s reaction was appropriate and sufficient (the remaining 25% of Republicans were undecided).
  • Voters Overwhelmingly Want an Immigration Fix in 2013: 80% of voters across all political affiliations said that it is important for the U.S. to fix its immigration system this year (combining 54% who said it is “very important” and 26% who said it is “somewhat important”).  Only 24% believed an immigration fix this year was not important.  Of note, 58% of Republicans thought it was “very important” and an additional 20% of Republicans thought it “somewhat important” that Congress fixes immigration laws this year.
  • Broad Support for Legislation Containing Key Provisions from Senate Bill – Including from Republicans: Nearly three out of four respondents (73%) support immigration legislation that includes the key elements of comprehensive immigration reform.  This support includes includes nearly two of three Republicans (65%), including 37% who “strongly support” such an approach and 28% who support it somewhat, versus only 28% of Republican who either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose the legislation.

In reaction to the PPP polling, conducted of 700 voters nationwide, America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry said:

Speaker Boehner already gave Steve King a vote on his amendment to de-fund the DACA program and deport DREAMers.  Now, Speaker Boehner should allow a similar vote on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.  As the poll underscores, the public strongly backs such an approach and grasps the unfortunate reality for the House Republicans – the longer that House leadership delays a vote on an immigration fix, the more Steve King’s comments and influence define the Party.

Access PPP poll results on immigration, including crosstabs