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New Polling Shows Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Election Strategy is Failing

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Newly released polling of swing voters across twelve battleground states indicates that Trump’s anti-immigrant electoral strategy is failing.  After three years of demonizing immigrants, most recently through the unconstitutional attacks on the census, and advancing policies that cut immigration at the expense of families and communities across the country, newly released polling shows that voters continue to reject Trump’s immigration agenda. 

The poll, commissioned by America’s Voice, FWD.us, and the Immigration Hub, was conducted by Global Strategy Group across twelve battleground states earlier this summer. It found that 51% of voters disapprove of the job President Trump is doing on immigration. Importantly, 43% of voters indicate that Trump’s immigration policies are a reason to vote against him.  The survey further found that Trump is losing a key battle on immigration around concerns over differing approaches to the issue. 

  • When asked to choose which of the following statements troubles them more, 57% say that “cruel and inhumane immigration policies” are the more troubling concern, while just 43% say the bigger concern is “open border immigration policies.”  Among Independents, the margin is 56% to 44%. 

The polling also found that President Trump’s continued attacks on immigrants have hardened voters’ opinions on his policies, while Vice President Joe Biden remains undefined on the issue of immigration, presenting an opportunity for him to contrast himself on the issue against the President’s unpopular stances. 

  • President Trump’s positions on immigration are well-defined as two-thirds of voters (66%) know “very well” where the President stands on the issue (and 92% know “very” or “somewhat” well).  On the other hand, Joe Biden is undefined as just 22% know “very” well (and 61% know “very” or “somewhat” well) what he stands for on the issue.  

“The President’s electoral prospects are dimming as more and more Americans take a sledgehammer to his anti-immigrant political playbook. He is employing a losing electoral strategy that aligns with a micro-minority of public attitudes toward immigration,” said Alida Garcia, Vice President of Advocacy at FWD.us. “From separating babies from their mothers to deporting Dreamers, terrorizing immigrant communities is a hallmark of the Trump Administration’s draconian approach to immigration policy. At a time of crisis, Americans deserve humane policies that protect family unity and recognize the enormous contributions of immigrants to America.”

“President Trump’s 2020 electoral strategy continues to be centered on race-baiting and fear-mongering, but the most crucial voters to persuade in November reject the chaos his immigration policies have caused,” stated Tyler Moran, Executive Direct of the Immigration Hub. “As the Trump campaign continues to go all in on xenophobia and cruelty, Democrats must lean in and articulate a vision for a functioning immigration system or risk leaving pivotal votes on the table.”

Statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “Trump — and the Republicans who have lashed themselves to him — should understand that Trump’s divisiveness rings hollow when the nation is trying to come together to meet the challenges of the day. The segment of GOP voters who are mobilized by xenophobia are outweighed by the backlash effect from the emerging multiracial majority. These results show that nativism has become a political strategy trapped in a whites-only cul-de-sac. Trump has forced Americans to choose, and the majority have — in favor of sensible immigration policies and humane treatment of immigrants.”

Recent Gallup polling has shown that for the first time in more than four decades, more Americans support an increase in immigration than a decrease. 70% percent of voters want immigration levels to stay the same or to increase, further undercutting the political strategy employed by President Trump.


Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 1,504 across 12 battleground states (FL, PA, WI, MI, IA, GA, NC, AZ, NH, NV, MN, and CO) between May 27 – June 3, 2020. The survey had a confidence interval of +/-2.5%. All interviews were conducted via web-based panel. Care has been taken to ensure the geographic and demographic divisions of the population of the likely electorate are properly represented.