61% of Americans Support Deferred Action Policy Generally, Only 54% Support it through Executive Action

January 28th, 2016

A new Reuters Poll asked respondents about whether they “back a plan that would allow certain illegal immigrants to stay in the country.” (I could not find the exact wording of the question). The results are interesting.

When the question was framed “in general terms,” support was broader for the policy.

The poll shows 61 percent of Americans support the plan to relax immigration policy for some undocumented people when it is described in general terms without using Obama’s name, including 42 percent of Republicans. Half of Republicans opposed the idea.

I suppose this means by statute, but without the actual polling question, I don’t know.

But when framed in terms of an executive action, support dropped, and fractured along political lines.

But when the same plan was described as being an executive action taken by Obama, support fell to 54 percent overall, with only 31 percent of Republicans supporting it and 62 percent opposing the measures.

For Democrats, 78 percent supported the plan when it was described without using Obama’s name, and 80 percent supported it when the president’s name was attached to it.

So what do we make of this? Republicans oppose the plan when it is tied to Obama’s executive action. For Democrats, it makes no difference. More broadly, overall support for the policy is 61% when performed without executive action. When it is performed for executive action, support drops down to 54%. The credibility interval is 3.2%. In other words, it becomes a 50/50 issue.

Regardless of what certain elite segments of the media tell you, this isn’t an open-and-shut issue.