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Colorado poll: yes to immigration, no to illegal immigration

Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 did a poll of 500 "likely Colorado voters":

"Overall, immigration is a good thing.":
61 percent said they "strongly" or "somewhat" agree

"Illegal immigrants are a burden on the United States, because of their impact on things like schools, jobs, and health care":
50% "strongly agree"
23% "somewhat agree" (73%)
"somewhat" or "strongly" disagree 26%.

"highest priority for the federal government?":
"the budget deficit" 20%
"the cost and supply of energy" 18%
the "war in Iraq" 16%
"terrorism" 14%
immigration 10%
job creation 10%

Tancredo, a statewide and national lightning rod on the issue, earned a 31 percent favorable rating from the respondents. Nearly as many, 29 percent, said they have an unfavorable impression of him. One in five said they'd never heard of him and 18 percent had no opinion.

Needless to say, M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the RM News has a little difficult understanding the "complex" results. He starts discussing their "harsh view toward illegal immigrants", then quotes an open borders advocate, then discusses "resentment to illegal immigration" that:

cuts across ethnic and other lines, although more Republican males (18 percent) viewed the issue as the country's highest priority. Only 11 percent of Republican women ranked it the top priority. Among whites in the survey, 78 percent agreed that illegal immigrants were a "burden," and so did 47 percent of Hispanics.

Here's a hint: don't put "burden" in quotes if it's in your survey question. If you feel a need to put words like that in quotes, don't put them in your own survey.

Then, the crack reporter follows with this:

Val Forsmark, a retired journalist who took the survey, said she's not surprised so many people blame illegal immigrants.

I'm sure we should let Val set our immigration policy.

Immigration2005b · Thu, 10/20/2005 - 00:31 · Importance: 1

Fri, 10/21/2005 - 09:52
D Flinchum

Exactly!

Plus the polls regarding immigration have to be taken into consideration based upon HOW questions are asked. If you are given 2 choices - massive "police state" round up and deportation at a cost of billions or limited amnesty, your response will be VERY different than if you are given a variety of not mutually exclusive actions (employer enforcement, deportation, denial of benefits, "the wall", etc.).

Bottom line: The more the average person knows about the effects that massive immigration - legal & illegal - has on their lives and their childrens' lives, the more they are going to be against it. Publicity is key.

As for Hillary, the more exposure she gets, the less likely she is to be electable, but a lot of folks who don't want to be looked upon as "anti-woman" - even anonymously - will not come clean in the polls.

I am convinced that most people who said that they supported Wilder in the polls and then didn't actually vote for him are not racists who would never vote for a black man for Governor. They were simply folks who didn't agree with him (or the Democratic Party) and who would have cheerfully answered that they planned to vote for his opponent if Wilder had been white.

Fri, 10/21/2005 - 07:31
eh

Maybe this applies to gender as well? For example, all this talk of Hillary Clinton as the favorite for the democratic nomination in 2008 -- I have a hard time imagining that myself, and wonder if that many people would actually vote for her as President if and when the time comes.

One more thing about these immigration polls: I just do not see how the answers can, in any way, really represent an informed decision or opinion. One taken after learning and considering all the facts, e.g. from some open and honest argument, counter-argument scenario, free of the usual name-calling. I would think knowing the rate of US population growth via immigration would alone be enough to sway many. Anyway, to most people it's like this: America = a nation of immigrants (which they hear all the time, but really isn't true -- it's a nation of Americans, and has been for a long time); America = good; therefore immigration = good.

Thu, 10/20/2005 - 05:38
D Flinchum

"Again, I think the results of these sorts of polls are hopelessly tainted by racially sensitive political correctness -- the obvious reality that the vast majority of immigrants to American today are non-whites. So whites -- who are still the majority -- are afraid to say they don't want any more of them because they know they will be called a "racist" if they do."

Back in 1989, Doug Wilder was running for Governor of VA. He was elected - the first black man elected governor of a state in US history - by a razor-thin margin. He served his 4 years well and did a good job, but was limited by law to one 4-year term. He's now mayor of Richmond.

What is interesting is that immediately before the election, polls showed him beating his Republican opponent by something like 6 to 10 points (as I remember) in basically a Republican state. How to reconcile the polls with his razor-thin win? As may be guessed, this election got a lot of nationwide publicity because of Wilder's shot at making history and because it was an off-year election. Folks didn't want to seem unwilling to vote for Wilder even to an anonymus poll so they said they were voting for him; in the election booth, they didn't.

Thu, 10/20/2005 - 03:32
eh

"Overall, immigration is a good thing."

Again, I think the results of these sorts of polls are hopelessly tainted by racially sensitive political correctness -- the obvious reality that the vast majority of immigrants to American today are non-whites. So whites -- who are still the majority -- are afraid to say they don't want any more of them because they know they will be called a "racist" if they do.

Next time, try showing them the data on US population growth, explain the role of immigration in that, and then ask them, especially the ones who live in crowded urban areas where sprawl, traffic, and an overall deteriorating quality of life (as most polls also show) are already day-to-day realities, or maybe also the ones who moved to Colorado (from e.g. California) to escape same, if they would like to see their communities swell in population by 50% over the next few generations. Then see what they say.