These results don’t tell us which side’s policies the public favors as a solution to the immigration crisis, merely that they recognize that there is a crisis.
But since one party’s presidential nominee wants to throw everything he’s got at closing the border, from a wall to asylum reform to new “safe third country” agreements with neighbors, and the other party’s leading voices seem to want to open the border to such an insane degree that even liberal pundits have begun scratching their heads, I’m guessing this boils down to “Advantage: Trump.”
For now. If the crisis were to persist another 15 months, good luck to POTUS arguing that he should get another four years to try to handle an emergency which he couldn’t handle in two.
The parties aren’t equal in their concern, with 42 percent of Republicans saying immigration is the country’s most important problem versus 20 percent each of Democrats and indies. But (a) immigration worries among Republicans are destined to bind some Trump-wary righties to him who might have otherwise considered voting Democrat next year and (b) getting 20 percent of the opposition to say this is the country’s top priority is no small thing, especially given the short shrift the issue has gotten in the Democratic presidential primaries relative to health care, taxing the rich, and, ah, busing.
Here’s the partisan difference in a nutshell. Trump this morning…
…versus Ilhan Omar last night:
No one should fear receiving medical care because they are undocumented. We must ensure that all people in our country have access to reproductive health care.https://t.co/bGuaS64HkL
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 22, 2019
Congrats to the congresswoman on somehow shoehorning open borders, universal health care, and abortion into the same tweet. I bet AOC could have worked climate change into it too, though.
NPR also polled recently on this issue, asking whether the public thinks various immigration positions which Dem candidates have endorsed are good ideas or bad ones. Decriminalizing border crossings pulled a 27/66 good/bad rating, with even Democratic adults underwater at 45/47. Instituting a national health insurance program to cover illegals polled better with Dems but not much better with Americans overall, landing at 33/62. That’s the good news for Trump, that most Americans agree that some of the left’s favorite ideas on immigration are bananas. The bad news is that various other Democratic proposals unrelated to immigration polled much better in NPR’s survey: From a public option for health insurance to a pathway to citizenship for illegals to, ugh, the Green New Deal, majorities are in favor of all — although NPR conveniently didn’t mention the price tag that each program would carry.
We might deduce from that that so long as the national conversation stays focused on immigration, Trump is more likely to win reelection. The more it strays from immigration, the less likely. Although…
Again, how good does Trump look on immigration next year if the crisis continues and he’s proved himself seemingly powerless to stop it? Especially bearing in mind that the Dem nominee will likely tack towards the center on the issue next year.