Posts tagged with "Dreamers"

Voters don’t give Trump a pass on gun control, healthcare, or Dreamers

March 21, 2018

Americans are paying close attention to several policy areas—among them, immigration, healthcare, gun violence and North Korea—in which they think President Donald Trump has taken the wrong approach, based on findings of a George Washington University Battleground Poll released on March 12.

Specifically, the poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters nationwide found that a majority are worried about the POTUS’s handling of immigration (42% approve, 56% disapprove), healthcare (38%/56%), gun violence (39%/55%) and North Korea (41%/53%). 

Chief among the areas of concern is gun control. When asked how closely they’ve been following a given topic, almost all respondents said they were “closely” (72%) or “somewhat closely” (22%) following the aftermath of the premeditated mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a month ago.

On the Russia investigation, a slightly large number of respondents now believe that “members of the Trump campaign committed crimes and actively assisted Russia’s efforts”—up  to 39% from 31% in the previous edition of the GW Battleground Poll in August 2017. However, voters were split over how much the issue will matter to them when they enter their polling places next November: 41% said it was” not at all important” in the context of their 2018 voting decisions. About the same amount said it was “extremely important” (27%) or “very important” (13%) important to them. More Independents said it was “extremely important” (28%) or “very important” (12%) than “not important at all” (36%).

“The composition of the poll’s respondent universe reminds us that, even as issues rise and fall swiftly in the news these days, the electorate remains heavily skewed toward middle-aged and older voters,” said Michael Cornfield, associate professor of Political Management and research director of the GW Center for Political Management. “Candidate positions on issues that matter greatly to young people, starting with the heavily followed Parkland shooting story that stars high school activists, could be significant in enlarging the traditionally small voter pool for the midterm elections.”

Moving to the economy—a marginally brighter spot in the public’s perception—opinions still were split. The poll found that about half (52%) of likely voters approved of the approach that the president has taken with respect to jobs, with 41% disapproving. The split was similar for his handling of the overall economy (51% approve, 45% disapprove).

Voters are conflicted about the state of the American dream. Almost three-quarters (72%) think that they will be financially better off in five years, but only one-third (37%) believe that the next generation will be better off economically.

Looking ahead to this year’s congressional elections, the GW Battleground Poll found a slight shift in voters’ attitudes toward the candidates. Presented with a generic ballot, 49% of voters chose a Democrat and 40% chose a Republican. In the previous edition of the GW Battleground Poll, those figures were 44% and 38%, respectively. Undecided voters decreased to 12% from 1%.

Democrats also appeared more enthusiastic than did Republicans ahead of the midterm elections. Among voters who say they are “extremely likely” to vote in the upcoming midterms, 51% prefer Democrats, while 39% prefer Republicans. Among voters who say they are “very likely” to vote, Democrats enjoy a 10-point advantage (48% to 38%).

The George Washington University Battleground Poll is a series of surveys conducted by Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. GW’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) serve as the university’s home for the partnership.

Research contact: jshevrin@gwu.edu

Senator Bernie Sanders defends the ‘Dreamers’

January 10, 2018

Americans (yes, including Republicans!) are overwhelmingly—by an 81% to 15% margin—backing efforts to keep “Dreamers” in the United States, based on results of a Marist poll released last month.

And it’s not just the U.S. electorate: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) showed his stripes on television last weekend.

The Dreamers continue to gain backing: The poll finds that citizenship for the Dreamers is the most popular option chosen by respondents in each of the three major parties:

  • Democrats at 92% (74% citizenship, 18% legal status, 5% deportation);
  • Independents at 82% (57% citizenship, 25% legal status, 14% deportation); and
  • Republicans at 67% (40% citizenship, 27% legal status; 29% deportation).

However, President Donald Trump still is refusing to relent on his intention to deport the roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants—most of them, Mexican by birth and between the ages of 15 and 30 —who are continuing their education in the United States.

That is, unless he gets the wall he believes will halt illegal entry into America from Latin America.

On December 29, Trump tweeted: “The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!”

During budget negotiations, Trump demanded $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of barriers along the border with Mexico. In a planning meeting with aides at Camp David last weekend, the POTUS commented, ““The wall is going to happen or we’re not going to have DACA.”

 Senator Bernie Sanders fought back on behalf of the Dreamers. “I am not sure why President Trump wants to shut down the government over a multi-billion dollar wall that no one wants, is not needed and will not be paid for by Mexico. What the American people do want, in overwhelming numbers, is to provide legal protection to 800,000 Dreamers and a path toward citizenship for them.”

In a statement distributed by his office on January 7, Sanders has called on Congress “to immediately fix the crisis the president precipitated when he ended protections for Dreamers in September.”

Sanders told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week, aired on the same date, “We are in a position where some 800,000 young people – young people who were raised in this country, young people who are in school, who are working in the U.S. military, now are living in extraordinary anxiety about whether or not they’re going to lose legal status and be subject to deportation. This is what the president precipitated. We have got to deal with that decision.”

Sanders called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act immediately and eventually to move to comprehensive immigration reform.

Research contact: Josh_Miller-Lewis@sanders.senate.gov

California Dreamin’ of DACA

December 8, 2017

According to a recent poll commissioned by The California Endowment, voters across the state are very familiar with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and want to see it become law.

About 75% of those surveyed offered overall support of DACA, with 74% saying they back a permanent DACA program. Conversely, voters overwhelming disapprove of a repeal of the program.

DACA is a U.S. immigration program that began under then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano of the Obama administration in June 2012. The administrative program allows undocumented residents who entered the country before their 16th birthdays— and before June 2007—to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. These young adults are often referred to as “dreamers,” and many came to America as young children, which means this is the only country they know as home.

The survey of more than 1,000 voters was conducted by a bipartisan team—Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3) and Public Opinion Strategies. They found that support cut across many of California’s demographic groups, including support from three in five moderate  and liberal Republicans (60%) who back DACA.

“Once again, California proves that we don’t follow; we lead,” said Dr. Tony Iton, senior vice president with The California Endowment. “We must not be divided by our differences. We believe in these young people, and we know they are the reason California thrives.”

Research contact: sreyes@calendow.org