Via Guy Benson. A few commenters torched me after this post last week about a YouGov poll claiming that 55 percent of the public wants the GOP to let Obama’s executive amnesty stand. The question YouGov asked was way too vague, they insisted. Rephrase it so that it gets more specific about what O’s action would do and the numbers will drop.
Yep. According to today’s WaPo result, you guys were right. Here’s how YouGov asked the question about the merits of Obama’s policy:
After putting that to the respondents, they followed up by asking, “Do you think Congress should try to stop this executive order on immigration from taking place or should they let it stand?” That’s where they got the 55 percent figure. Now, compare that to how WaPo approached this:
What’s the key difference? Right, WaPo emphasizes the scope of the action by noting that it would apply to four million people. That detail is omitted from YouGov’s version; if you’re not following this issue day to day in the news, you might interpret the phrase “some illegal immigrants” there as referring to a few thousand. The more you stress the magnitude of O’s order, it seems, the more of a backlash there is. Which is not to suggest that that’ll stop Senate Democrats from siding with Obama on this. If there’s one shining lesson from the passage of ObamaCare, it’s that congressional Dems are willing to be electoral cannon fodder for their party by voting even for widely unpopular legislation.
That’s not the only difference in the question phrasing. Note that WaPo is also more specific about how Congress would go about blocking amnesty. In YouGov’s version of the question, that’s left ambiguous. In theory it encompasses any nefarious by-any-means-necessary form of procedural obstruction to stop Obama. In WaPo’s version, the modus operandi is clear — it’s cutting off funding, the power of the purse. Partisans on both sides acknowledge that that’s a constitutional means by which to block the executive. Go figure that when you tweak your question’s phrasing to note that Congress is exercising a legitimate power, the public’s comfort with it rises.
One grim note here for the GOP, though:
By the usual standards of African-American support for O’s initiatives, that’s mighty equivocal — just +14 net. Note the “net non-white” category, though, at +34. Support among Latino voters for executive amnesty must be massive to drive the overall non-white numbers that high despite ambivalence by black voters towards the policy. Makes me wonder if that fact alone won’t lead the GOP leadership in Congress to shrug off the topline result.
Update: Guy e-mails with another new poll result along the same lines, this time from Fox News. How does this one grab you?
Like WaPo, Fox emphasized that O’s amnesty would reach four million people. This is what happens when you stress the scope of what he’s doing.