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Misleading Lake Research, America's Voice immigration poll (DailyKos)

Another day, another misleading immigration poll. This one is from Lake Research for Frank Sharry's America's Voice. It's promoted by Kos of DailyKos at [1]. And, one wonders what the game is: why promote misleading polls when all they do is give a false sense that something's popular when it isn't? Since many of the consumers of the poll will be on Kos' side, why is he trying to mislead them? Or, is it just that he can't figure out how the poll is misleading?

The only question we need to look at is this, which got a whopping 78% of support:

Now I'd like to read you a description of comprehensive immigration reform: Under this proposal, the federal government would strengthen border security and crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government, undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship. Do you support or oppose Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform?

1. That question doesn't clearly tell respondents that any illegal alien who passed their background check and the rest would be able to eventually get U.S. citizenship; it's ambiguous. If they'd said "Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government... and then would be able to go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship" it might be a bit clearer, but they're still front-loading the punitive steps and hiding the pay-off for corrupt politicians and businesses at the end. Would they have asked something like, "In order to get U.S. citizenship, illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government, undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line"? Maybe they should try an A/B test; most likely the second wouldn't fare as well since they would then be front-loading something most people probably don't want.

2. As with all the other immigration polls, they don't outline the downsides of comprehensive immigration reform, some of which are listed at that link. Can anyone imagine them asking whether someone would support "reform" despite the fact that - among many other negative consequences - it would give even more power inside the U.S. to the Mexican government? Or, consider this: "Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government... and then would be able to go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship. And, all of this would occur despite the fact that it would give a pass to decades of politicians supporting, enabling, or ignoring massive illegal immigration and decades of businesses knowingly profiting from illegal activity." What percentages would Kos get for that?

[1] dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/5/25/869838/
-Immigration-reform-is-still-hugely-popular

Other tags: amnesty require

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 20:12 · Importance: 4