Immigration non-factor for President Obama

July 10, 2012

President Obama’s announcement of his support for relaxed enforcement of immigration laws on young illegal immigrants has not provided any lift for him on the issue according to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

His approval rating on dealing with immigration issues is no better (nor worse) than it was two years ago, and he runs evenly with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on who people trust to handle the issue. Fewer than one in five voters — 18 percent — say immigration is an extremely important issue in their vote.

In the Post’s key eight toss-up states — which include burgeoning Hispanic populations in Colorado, Florida and Nevada — Obama’s disapproval on immigration still tops 50 percent. And he does not enjoy any wider lead over Romney on the issue in those states than in any others.

Polls in specific swing states indicate that Obama’s shift on immigration policy, while widely popular, could be a net vote loser come November. More than twice as many voters said the policy made them less rather than more likely to support Obama in June Quinnipiac University polls in Ohio and Pennsylvania — despite the fact that over half of all voters in those states support the policy.

This post initially stated that Obama’s announcement would affect only the children of illegal immigrants. It affects all young illegal immigrants.

Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.
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