A new Gallup poll published Monday finds that more Americans agree with the Democratic Party’s approach to immigration reform.
About 48 percent of respondents indicated that their views resembled Democratic policies on immigration reform, while 36 percent said they felt more in line with the Republicans’ policies.
The poll noted that most minorities had more progressive views on immigration and consequently swung the results in the Democrats’ favor. Gallup found that Hispanics and blacks overwhelmingly supported the Democrats over the GOP. Hispanics favored Democrats 60 percent to 26 percent, and African Americans favored Democrats 70 percent to 14 percent.
These findings reflect the growing political power of minorities and illustrate the GOP’s failure to engage them. In order to secure its political future, the GOP will have to modify its views on immigration reform and temper its far-right ideological approach, as evidenced by a recent poll from Latino Decisions. Given that many parts of the country are becoming majority minority, demographics are currently stacked against the GOP, so it will have to engage minorities on immigration reform in order to preserve its viability as a political party.
The poll also indicated that 51 percent of respondents back a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, like the one created the Senate’s immigration bill. Many House Republicans have vowed to obstruct any bill that includes such a path.
Overall, non-Hispanic whites are evenly divided on their views regarding immigration policy — 41 percent picked the Democrats and 42 percent picked the Republicans — Gallup found that “whites aged 18 to 49 show a slight tilt toward the Democrats on this question: 44% say their views are more in line with that party, versus 39% choosing the Republican Party.”
Gallup concluded that these results demonstrate less division on immigration among the American people than among members of Congress, observing that “perhaps the message is that immigration is less of a rancorous issue than it might appear from the news out of Congress, even if rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats generally do prefer their own party’s policies on the issue.” This observation confirms previous polls that indicate Americans generally support more progressive measures than Congress will consider.
Marina Fang is an intern for ThinkProgress.