Monday, September 17, 2007

A new UPI/Zogby poll has some interesting results. Many Americans place immigration and border security as the most pressing domestic security policy:
Immigration and border security was far and away “the number one issue facing the United States in terms of domestic security,” the poll results show. Fifty percent of all respondents chose it above port security, at 20 percent, transit security, 10 percent. Aviation security, the final choice, was picked by just 4 percent.
Whom do Americans think is most likely to "solv[e] America's immigration issues"? Guiliani and Thompson are currently leading, but many are unsure:
Thompson was rated that way by 14 percent of the 7,102 adults who responded, Giuliani by 15 -- a difference within the poll’s 1.2 percent margin of error. The third rated candidate was Sen. Hilary Clinton, D-N.Y., with 11 percent.

But, not unexpectedly given that the election is still more than a year away, the largest group of respondents was the 22 percent who were not sure which of the 16 named candidates would be most capable.

It also sounds like almost 2/3 of Americans would support more "restrictive" immigration policies and believe that such policies would help the US economy, but adherents of different political parties felt a little differently:

The support for more restrictive immigration policies was also more pronounced among Republicans and independents, the UPI/Zogby poll found. GOP supporters favored more restrictions over more open policies 89 percent to seven; Independents by 70 percent to 21. Overall, restrictions were favored 65 to 25.

But among Democrats, a small plurality favored more open policies over more restrictive ones, 46 to 39 percent.

More than a third of respondents, 37 percent, believed more restrictions on immigration would benefit the U.S. economy -- a conviction at odds with the conclusions of most experts who agree with 30 percent of the respondents that the economy would suffer.

The belief that restrictions would be beneficial was especially pronounced among African-Americans (41 percent), independents (40 percent) and Republicans (48 percent), and less prevalent among Hispanics (28 percent) and Democrats (23 percent).
This poll also points to Republican dissatisfaction with their own party's leadership on immigration (e.a.):
Respondents narrowly favored the Democratic Party when asked which they had more confidence in to deal with immigration, 32 to 29 percent who favored the GOP.

Among independents, the gap was even narrower than that, a statistically insignificant 21 percent for Democrats to 20 for Republicans. By far the majority of independents, 57 percent, and more than a third of respondents overall said neither.

The Democrats inched ahead because though 24 percent of their own supporters had no confidence in either party on the issue, that was still better than the abstention rates for GOP supporters, where almost a third, 32 percent, said neither party had their confidence.