A majority of self-identified Democrats oppose President Obama’s expected executive orders to provide administrative relief for illegal immigrants, according to a poll released Wednesday.
“Nearly three quarters of likely voters want Congress and the President to work together to address immigration policy,” Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway found. “This includes majorities of self-identified Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Conservatives, and Moderates, while Liberals are alone in supporting Obama as the executive action Lone Ranger.”
Fifty-six percent of Democrats in the poll said they would prefer Obama to work with Congress rather than act unilaterally; 81 percent of independents and 93 percent of Republicans gave the same answer.
Of the political groups surveyed, only liberals prefer unilateral action, 56 percent to 44.
Conway surveyed 1,001 likely voters between July 16 and 20 and another 1,008 from August 7 to 10.
Overall, just 32 percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s handling of the immigration issue.
“Most pointedly, likely voters were unequivocal in their support of immigration policies that protect the American worker,” Conway wrote (emphasis in the original). “Their sentiment is the inverse of the oft-repeated phrase, ‘illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do,’ saying instead that these workers should have a fair opportunity to do the jobs that illegal immigrants currently do.”
If Democratic strategists are looking for comfort in the survey, the results suggest that the populism motivating such antipathy to Obama’s immigration policies creates a political opening on the minimum-wage issue.
“‘Raise the pay’” is a rallying call for these voters, who believe there are plenty of Americans to do the work and that better pay and more training is an elixir for labor shortages,” Conway wrote. “Working class voters, married women, and political Independents agree with this in dramatic numbers.”