We are constantly entreated to a torrent of polling data showing that the entire country, including many Republicans, are clamoring for amnesty. However, as with most issue polling, the devil is in the details. It’s all about the phrasing of the question. In some sense, polling is a microcosm of politics in itself. It’s not so much about convincing people of the veracity of your views; it’s about getting people to use the language of your views.
Obviously, whenever you poll the public on immigration and offer the false choice of kicking in doors and rounding people up, you will not see a majority in support of such a position. But when you offer them a choice between enforcement first or amnesty now, you will find quite a different result.
In fact, the latest Rasmussen poll shows that you can even get a majority to support deportation when phrased in the right way. In a poll released last week, Rasmussen asked respondents “Millions of people entered the United States legally but stayed longer than their visas allowed. Should the federal government find these people and make them go home?”
55% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the federal government should find these illegal immigrants and make them go home. Only 22% oppose such a policy, while just as many (23%) are not sure.
The moral of the story is that Republicans should stop capitulating on this issue due to superficial reading of polling data. They need to stop adopting the false premises and the parlance of the left. Instead, they should go on offense and highlight the fact that Obama is abdicating the rule of law and seeking to strain the welfare state with new recipients. We need to focus on border security, law enforcement, immigration that benefits everyone, and limiting the public charge of new immigrants.
It’s all about the message, folks.
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