Voters Highly Politically Attuned, Support Immigrants, Survey Finds

Voters Highly Politically Attuned, Support Immigrants, Survey Finds


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Voters are following politics in ways not witnessed before — three quarters at the highest level on a 0 to 10 ladder scale, down 2 points from the government shutdown but that was higher than any point in Democracy Corps polling in a presidential year and the first time, engagement grew higher after a major election, according to the results of the Washington DC non-profit organization’s July national phone survey.

The percentage saying immigrants strengthen the country, are not a burden, has risen from 54 percent after the election to 65 percent now, 52 percent strongly. Only 26 percent agree with Donald Trump that they are a burden because they take jobs, housing, and health care, according to the results.

Former vice president Joe Biden has an 8 point lead over Trump (close to the 2018 Democratic margin), while Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now at 6 points, slightly larger than President Barack Obama’s 2008 margin. Again, both would gain if the Libertarian candidate plays less of a role, according to the Democracy Corps analysis of its results.

Right now, he is benefited by support for impeachment, but his Tea Party history and philosophy may pull those voters away.

Biden is running as the more mainstream and moderate candidate, and he less successfully consolidates Democrats (86 percent versus 90 percent for Warren). But Biden wins independents by 10 points, while Warren wins them by only 5. Biden picks up 7 percent of Republicans, while Warren gets 5.

This phone survey of 1,700 registered voters — 1,000 sample of registered voters and over-sample of 700 Republicans — was completed between July 18 to 28, before the second wave of presidential debates and before the week of mass shootings. 

For practical reasons, Democracy Corps tested two presidential candidates, Biden and Warren, because they defined the ideological range of the current field. They tested as well the the messages advanced by the major candidates in the debates, including Biden, Warren, Sens. Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, as well as the libertarian, independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

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