Why Republicans’ position on immigration is a political loser — in 1 chart

November 9, 2012

Widespread Hispanic support for Democrats on Tuesday, together with the inexorable shifts in demographics seem to be an impetus for a review of the strategic direction of the Republican Party. For immigration reform, the policy reevaluation appears to be happening in real time.

After all, the national exit poll showed voters still clearly on one side of the debate. By 65 to 28 percent, voters said most illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, rather than being deported.

Graphic: Washington Post

While the exit poll question doesn’t tap the subtleties of the arguments for and against reform, the top line numbers -- along with the 71 percent Obama got from Hispanic voters -- appear to have reshuffled GOP positioning on the matter. Wide majorities of Democrats and independents want legal status, as do 51 percent of Republican voters, according to the exit poll.

More than three-in-four Hispanic voters supported a chance for illegal immigrants to gain legal status, including 84 percent of Hispanics who identify as independents.

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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