A Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,000 adults found that Americans have less faith in Republican leaders to handle immigration policy than in Democratic ones.
The 18-21 September survey questioned, “Which political party… do you believe would handle immigration better?”
44% voted for the Democrats, while only 43% voted for the Republicans. “Neither” received seven percent of the vote, “both” received two percent, and four percent had no opinion.
The one-point gap poll was not blatantly slanted in favor of Vice President Joe Biden. Even though he has a 43 percent average approval rating in surveys tracked by RealClearPolitics.com, he received only 39 percent approval among the respondents.
And the one-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5%, indicating that Republicans may have greater trust than Democrats.
However, other surveys support the GOP’s 43 percent showing.
A poll of 1,578 registered voters conducted in August 2022 reveals that only 44% of Americans believe the Republican Party is “best equipped to handle immigration.”
This Wall Street Journal survey, however, revealed that only 23% of respondents have faith in the Democrats.
Nonetheless, the outcome is unexpected because numerous polls indicate that large majority of Americans oppose the mass migration encouraged by the Democrats and the outsourcing of jobs advocated by both parties.
Democrats will use any excuse to put illegal aliens ahead of American Citizens. https://t.co/kgNQs4CVPo
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 9, 2021
However, the shocking outcome is a result of Republican politicians and their business donors downplaying the economic impact of President Joe Biden’s welcoming of millions of illegal immigrants.
And the party leaders, bolstered by donations, are emphasizing crime and inflation rather than the immigration issue that propelled Donald Trump to office in 2016.
Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA, stated, “There are a few Republicans who have been discussing immigration ceaselessly, but the majority do not.” She disclosed to Breitbart News:
They’re being told by the pollsters … [ that] inflation and crime are much easier to talk about without risking saying the wrong thing [that allows the] media to pick to up your speech and call you a racist. That doesn’t happen if you’re talking about inflation.
For example, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) heads the House GOP’s 2023 campaign team and visited Breitbart News Saturday on September 17 to outline the party’s midterm message.
A vote for a Republican is a vote to get the cost of living back under control and restore American energy independence … for safety and security in our communities, in our states, in our country, and around the world … [for a] secure border … [and] putting parents back in charge of the decisions they believe are most important when it comes to their children and their own personal lives.
But party leaders must provide something to voters on immigration; otherwise, many GOP base voters may choose to abstain from voting out of frustration. According to a Harvard-Harris survey, Republican voters perceive immigration as more significant than crime. The survey revealed that 32% of Republicans consider immigration to be one of their top two issues, while just 25% consider crime to be one of their top two issues.
Even a poll funded by donors revealed that in swing districts, opposition to immigration was considerably greater than opposition to crime.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Republican leader, therefore released a campaign platform promising to enforce border rules. His Commitment to America plan minimizes the economic and financial effects of migration, whether legal or illegal, and includes only a few significant commitments.
Border Patrol agents in the five Texas-based sectors apprehended nearly 117,000 migrants in August, according to a source operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. https://t.co/3FjVg3C1xq
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 6, 2022
Still, McCarthy’s promises were touted by the American-first groups, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform. They tout the promises because the commitments will help GOP legislators overcome resistance from pro-migration lobbies in 2023.
McCarthy’s plan pushed the GOP beyond its crude “Biden bad” pitch, said Jenks, adding:
I think the the Taskforce report and the [McCarthy’s] Commitment to America was a small attempt to give Republican [candidates] some more specifics to talk about — “We’re going to end catch and release, we’re going to build the border wall, we’re going to beef up Border Patrol, we’re going to fund ICE.” Those kinds of things are a little bit more specific than just “Biden bad.”
I do think that the leadership is trying to give their members actual solutions, like “We’re not just opposing Biden, here’s what we would do.” They’re doing that effectively. I don’t know whether the members are taking that and running with it.
Yet McCarthy’s campaign document was panned by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson: “You probably haven’t read it. Nobody really cares. Why? Because there’s nothing real in it,” he said on September 26 as he argued that government-delivered migration is damaging Americans’ families:
How are my kids? Will they have a life that resembles mine? That was called the America dream. Does it still exist? Will they be able to live the way they grew up? Will they have the opportunities that we had? No. People are upset about that. Why wouldn’t they be? But nobody says it.
The investors and corporate donors who help fund the GOP oppose significant curbs on migration.
They fund many polls and most of the GOP’s campaign ads, and so their ads downplay the economic and pocketbook costs of migration. Instead, they focus on border chaos, crime, and drugs, according to a collection of GOP campaign ads displayed by a corporate-funded, pro-migration group, America’s Voice.
The above ad is funded by the GOP’s major donor group, the Congressional Leadership Fund. The fund relies heavily on donors who gain from the inflow of migrant workers, renters, and consumers. Much of the group’s funding comes from billionaire investors, such as Charles R. Schwab, Paul Singer, and Kenneth Griffin,
These business groups want to minimize the visibility of immigration in the election.
They do not want the GOP to showcase the issue, they do not want anyone to credit immigration promises for a GOP victory, and they really do not want to see their tax-cutting priorities demoted by a leadership focus on immigration.
These goals mean the donors’ primary priority is electing enough GOP legislators to stop a Democratic majority from passing new taxes or regulations.
Their secondary priority is to prevent a big win by GOP populists in the House or Senate because that populist bloc might shrink legal immigration and curb the export of U.S. jobs.
So the donors’ easiest-to-achieve win is a modest congressional victory for the establishment GOP that curbs Biden’s White House and also sidelines both the tax-raising congressional Democrats and the migration-cutting congressional populists.
The political calculus helps to explain the weak GOP leadership that leaves many Americans on the sidelines of the issue.
A September 17-20 poll by YouGov asked 1,500 adult citizens: “In general, do you think immigration makes the U.S. better off or worse off, or does it not make much difference?”
One-third of the respondents shrugged their shoulders, saying immigration “doesn’t make much difference” (20 percent) or “Not sure” (14 percent).
Just 31 percent said it made the U.S. “worse off” while 35 percent said it makes the U.S. “better off.”
The weak public response exists alongside strong opposition to illegal migration.
The poll showed that 61 percent of Americans agree that illegal immigration is a problem, while just 13 percent said “Not sure.”
And there is plenty of room within both parties to champion pocketbook-themed curbs on migration. GOP voters split 56 percent for “worse” and 18 percent for “better.” Democrats split 14 percent for “worse,” and 51 for “better.”
The GOP is also limited because the establishment media hides the economic and pocketbook impact of migration from ordinary voters, said Jenks.
For example, immigration was mentioned only twice in a Washington Post article about the GOP’s midterm focus on spotlighting crime concerns. The primary mention came in the last paragraph of the 39-paragraph September 25 article:
Republicans, including Trump, are also increasingly seeking to connect crime with their immigration message, making the argument that lax security at the southern border is a threat to national security and also fuels the illicit drug trade. “It is a natural fit and is out there quite a bit and will happen more,” said [Curt] Anderson, the [Senate] GOP strategist.
“Voters have to be paying attention and go to [non-establishment] media sources to find out what’s really happening,” said Jenks.
Low-information voters are more likely to respond to pitches on inflation or crime, she added:
When you think about what it’s easiest to campaign on, every state in the Union is seeing a massive number of fentanyl deaths. That is something that everyday Americans — low information voters — see around them. They don’t necessarily see how this mass illegal immigration is increasing their rents.
It is harder for a politician to connect dots for people than it is to point out the obvious which is that your neighbor is dying of fentanyl … because Biden has opened the border. [Politicians] need soundbites that are clear and understandable — and unchallengeable. You don’t want to come out with a soundbite that then is going to be fact checked by some lefty group.
“The media picks and chooses what it wants to allow the narrative to be,” said Jenks. “It’s an obstacle [that] you have to overcome to get your narrative out.”
Many polls show the public wants to welcome some immigration. But the polls also show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs needed by young U.S. graduates.
This “Third Rail” opposition is growing, anti-establishment, multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity that American citizens owe to one another.