The GOP has long been concerned that passing U.S. immigration reform policies would negatively affect the party by driving away Republican voters. Right-wing politicians have delayed immigration reform for years not because of worries that voters would turn to the other side – rather that they would avoid the polling place altogether come election time. But a recent survey has revealed that right-wing Americans don’t feel this way.
Texas-based firm Baselice & Associates conducted a poll, which was financed by the Partnership for a New American Economy, to determine just how voters feel about politicians who are pro-immigration reform. It looked at three different districts in the Lone Star State with incumbents who are in the GOP – Rep. Lamar Smith is against reform, Rep. Sam Johnson supports it, and Rep. Kevin Brady is undecided.
The survey found that lawmakers’ opposition or support for immigration led to no significant impact on Republican primary voter support at the polling place. It suggested that the number of people who would choose not to vote due to the issue would not be large enough to change the outcome of the election.
Rather than focusing on immigration, which proved to be only a minor issue, voters seem to be more concerned with health care reform and the state of the economy. In fact, when asked specifically about their opinions on immigration reform, many showed surprising support, negating the widely believed myth that GOP voters are against reform. More than 40 percent showed support for changes to America’s immigration and naturalization laws,saying undocumented immigrants in the country should have a way to obtain citizenship rather than being forced out. Another 10 percent said they would support letting those undocumented immigrants stay in America, though they would not favor allowing them to become citizens.