There were actually two polls about illegal immigrants voting published this week, inspired by news from San Francisco that the, ahem, “undocumented” would be allowed to vote in school board elections. (San Fran isn’t the first American city to allow that, by the way.) The first survey I saw was one conducted by The Hill and HarrisX showing majorities in both parties opposed to the idea — although of course one party’s majority was much more robust than the other’s.
Ninety-one percent of Republicans polled said they opposed giving the right to vote to noncitizens, as did 54 percent of Democrats…
When respondents were asked the same question but with the wording changed to include the term “illegal immigrants” instead of non-U.S. citizens, the results were nearly the same…
When asked the question with the term “illegal immigrant,” 91 percent of Republicans said they opposed giving them voter rights, while 55 percent of Democrats also said they disagreed with the move.
Around 54-55 percent of Democrats were against letting noncitizens help set policy for American citizens? That didn’t seem right. Surely the party of open borders and amnesty unto eternity would find the idea of letting illegals vote enchanting, a matter of “social justice” or reducing inequality or whatever. There must be a poll out there that shows it, I thought.
And so there is. From Rasmussen, just a few days ago:
Note how much more expansive the phrasing of the first question is than the second. The second specifies local elections; the first doesn’t, and yet there’s actually more support for letting them vote in the first case than in the second. I assume that’s because of the reference to paying taxes. A small but meaningful minority may believe that if you’re paying into the system then you deserve a say in how it operates, whether or not you have any legal right to be present in the United States. Either way, Democrats clearly prefer a residency requirement rather than a citizenship requirement for democratic participation. Is there any more basic disagreement between the two parties right now?
One other detail from Rasmussen. Letting illegals vote so long as they pay taxes is actually a majority position among all Americans under the age of 40. Senior citizens split 31/62 against, those aged 40-64 break 24/68 against, but the under-40 crowd divides 50/46 in favor. And bear in mind, these are what the numbers look like with virtually no signaling from prominent Democrats in support of letting illegals vote. Pelosi and Schumer aren’t out there demanding ballots for illegal immigrants, whatever they may privately think about the idea. Even among hardcore amnesty activists, the tip of the messaging spear right now is abolishing ICE, not letting “the undocumented” vote. What you’re seeing in these numbers, in other words, is a gut-check favorable reaction to the idea by the Democratic rank-and-file that would surely only grow more favorable if lefty media and prominent progressives put some real muscle behind mainstreaming the idea. Fifty-four percent support is more likely to be a floor than a ceiling. Which party is the “extremist” one on immigration?