As we close in on the final month before the mid-term elections, the GOP has placed a clear marker on immigration. In districts ranging from Arizona to Pennsylvania, the Republicans are attacking Democratic candidates on allegedly supporting amnesty. Clearly, Republicans believe that raising the immigration issue will both rally base supporters and potentially bring in more conservative swing voters. But it is not clear that their strategy is working. In fact, the Democrats are currently favored over the Republicans on the issue of immigration, and a strong push back on immigration beats a Republican attack accusing Democrats of supporting amnesty.
Immigration is a major piece of the Republican attack on Democratic candidates this election cycle. Not only do Republicans lack an advantage on the immigration issue, but also, as these data make clear, Democrats have stronger arguments to make on the issue. Democratic candidates should feel emboldened to push back against this attack, just as they should be on security and Iraq.
This analysis based on a national survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps, October 1-3, 2006.
- Democrats are favored over Republicans by 9 points on immigration, 42 to 33 percent. Among independent voters, this margin increases to 11 points, 38 to 27 percent.
- Democrats have very powerful arguments on immigration that beat Republican attacks citing amnesty, benefits for illegal immigrants, and Republican support for a security fence.
- Democrats must reinforce their support for tough security measures.
"Clearly, Republicans believe that raising the immigration issue will both rally base supporters and potentially bring in more conservative swing voters. But it is not clear that their strategy is working."