In a new Quinnipiac poll, 51 percent of Florida voters give Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) a favorable job-approval rating (his highest is 54 percent). On immigration, Republicans approve of his performance by a whopping 52 to 24 percent margin. (It is Democrats, who disapprove of him 55-19 percent, that pull him into negative territory.) So much for the notion that immigration reform is hurting Rubio or that his stance is at odds with Republicans.
In response to the question “Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States? A) They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for US citizenship. B) They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. C) They should be required to leave the U.S.” 58 percent of voters overall and a significant plurality of Republicans (47 percent) chose A.
In this poll, like many others, we have seen that Rubio, contrary to the hopes of anti-immigration conservatives, is benefiting by increased visibility on the immigration front and that he is in sync with most voters, including Republicans. The extreme anti-immigration position that we should kick out the illegal immigrants gets support from only 24 percent of Florida voters and about a third of Republicans. To the dismay of his critics in the right-wing punditocracy, it seems he is doing what few Republicans have been able to accomplish of late: increase his appeal with non-Republicans while keeping Republicans on his side. Maybe it is his right-wing critics who are out of touch.