BY ZACHARY STIEBER
A new poll shows that a majority of black and Hispanic voters support presidential candidates who are against illegal immigration.
Respondents to a Harvard/Harris X poll (pdf) were asked about two possible presidential candidates.
One “stands for the green new deal on climate change, Medicare for all, free college tuition, opening our borders to many more immigrants and raising taxes to pay for these programs.” The other “stands for lower taxes and reduced government regulations, strengthening our military, strengthening our border to reduce illegal immigrants, standing up more to China and Iran, and seeking better trade deals for the US.”
Sixty-one percent of respondents chose the latter, including 49 percent of Hispanics, 50 percent of blacks, and 65 percent of Independents.
Respondents were later asked if they were likely or unlikely to vote for a presidential candidate that stands for a series of issues, but this time the issues were divided one-by-one.
Asked if they would support a candidate who was focused on “strengthening our border to reduce illegal immigrants,” 70 percent said they were likely, including 61 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of blacks, and 69 percent of Independents.
Approximately 30 percent of Hispanics, 26 percent of blacks, and 37 percent of Independents said they were “very likely” to vote for such a candidate, with 31 percent of Hispanics, 37 percent of blacks, and 32 percent of Independents answering they were “somewhat likely” to vote for such a candidate.
Approximately 45 percent of respondents said they approved of Trump’s job as president, with 55 percent saying they don’t approve. The approval included 36 percent of Hispanics and 22 percent of blacks.
But asked about specific areas, more voters said they approve of the job: on the economy and stimulating jobs, 57 percent of respondents approved, including 50 percent of Hispanics and 38 percent of blacks, and on fighting terrorism, 54 percent indicated approval, including 45 percent of Hispanics and 36 percent of blacks.
The poll featured 2,214 respondents queried from July 31 through Aug. 1. That included 704 self-identified Republicans, 816 self-identified Democrats, and 637 self-identified Independents, along with 45 “others.”
Another question asked people if they support “comprehensive immigration reform.” Some 66 percent said they do support reform, including 74 percent of Republicans.
Another query went in depth: “In your view is it more important to keep in place the current immigration system that gives preference to legal migrants that have a relative in the United States or should we change to a merit-based system that gives preference to legal migrants based on skill and educational attainment?”
About 48 percent said they favored keeping the current system in place while 52 percent said they want to change to a merit-based system.
Majorities of Hispanics and blacks opted for the former, though 46 percent of Hispanics and 40 percent of blacks said they’d want a change to a merit-based system, in addition to 55 percent of Independents.
Support for Trump among minorities has increased since 2016, especially among Hispanics. A slew of polls earlier this year found that support for Trump had reached 50 percent among the group.
Trump often touts the record-low unemployment rates among Hispanics and others, including African-Americans and Asians, at his “Make America Great Again” campaign rallies, and says his presidency is aimed in part at benefiting those left behind under other administrations.
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