Reason-Rupe poll shows majority approves path to citizenship, oppose targeted drone killings of Americans
posted at 6:01 pm on March 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Alternate headline: Libertarian organization polls voters, finds libertarian results. Only that may be more surprising than you might guess, especially looking at the sample, which had a D/R/I of 34/23/34, with independents split evenly in leaners between the two parties and no leaners at all. One might have expected a little more support for Barack Obama and his policies in such a sample, but in fact the Reason/Rupe poll is an outlier on his approval rating these days, showing the President back under water at 47/49.
Besides, it’s becoming apparent that the opposition to the application of drone strikes targeted on American citizens isn’t just for libertarians any longer:
A majority of Americans, 57 percent, believe it is unconstitutional for the president of the United States to order the killing of American citizens who are suspected of being terrorists, a new Reason-Rupe poll finds. Just 31 percent think it is constitutional for the president to order the killing of American citizens suspected of being terrorists.
Even more, 59 percent, say they are concerned “the government may abuse its power” when it comes to using drone strikes on American citizens who are suspected of being terrorists.
As the use of drones by domestic law enforcement agencies grows, 60 percent of Americans are now concerned that their local police departments might invade their privacy with the use of drones.
The public is split, 47-47, on whether or not they “should have the right to destroy” a drone that is taking pictures or videos of their home.
In the detailed tables provided by Reason/Rupe, opposition to assassination programs rises to about two-thirds for both Republicans and independents, but is only a narrow plurality among Democrats, 44/40. One has to wonder how this would have looked in a poll during the Bush administration. I’d wager that independents probably would have been consistent, but that Republicans and Democrats would have flipped positions in this split.
How about immigration? Once again, the more libertarian position seems to be ascendant:
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed say unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States should be allowed to stay in the country and apply for citizenship. Twenty-seven percent say unauthorized immigrants should be deported.
However, that’s not just a libertarian position. More Republicans favor a path to citizenship (41%) than deportation of any kind (35%). Combined with two other intermediate positions — guest worker permits and non-citizen permanent residence — 61% of Republicans favor some sort of normalization for illegal immigrants.
On the proposal to increase the federal minimum wage, the libertarian position take a beating, though … at least at first. Two-thirds of all respondents (66%) favor increasing the floor to $9 per hour, Obama’s proposed level, with 88% of Democrats and 62% of independents agreeing. Republicans oppose the idea by a wide margin, 39/58. However, when asked whether that support continues if it raises unemployment, the numbers flip to 37/56 overall, and only Democrats favor it at 53/40; Republican opposition rises to 17/80, and independents switch to strong opposition at 36/57. Respondents split on their expectations of the outcome, with 42% expecting it to reduce jobs and 41% believing it will have no impact (only 13% believe it will increase jobs). If the opposition to this proposal is to succeed, it will have to make the clear-cut case that it will cost jobs, especially at the bottom end of the scale.