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Posted on Mar 31, 2008 in Across the US, Campaign '08, Democrats, Immigration, Party Politics

Do McCain supporters know where he stands on Immigration?

For many, apparently not.

According to the poll below, it looks like a lot of voters on both sides are unclear as to where the candidates they are supporting really stand on immigration.

This is very interesting to me, because I truly believe that immigration is going to be a major issue in this campaign cycle, for Democrats, Republicans and everything in between.

From the Center for Immigration Studies:

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2007) –A new poll using neutral language finds that primary and caucus voters have little knowledge of candidates’ immigration positions. The results also show that voters often do not share their candidate’s position.

Among the findings:


  • Only 34 percent of McCain voters, 42 percent of Clinton voters, and 52 percent of Obama voters correctly identified their candidate as favoring eventual citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements.
  • Of McCain voters, 35 percent mistakenly thought he favored enforcement that would cause illegals to return home, another 10 percent thought he wanted mass deportations, and 21 percent didn’t know his position.
  • Voters often held different positions from the candidate they supported. Only 31 percent of McCain voters had the same immigration position as he does. For Clinton voters, 45 percent shared her position; 61 percent of Obama voters shared his position.
  • This lack of knowledge, coupled with disagreements with their candidates’ positions, makes it very difficult to draw any conclusions about the fact that all three remaining candidates favor legalization for illegal immigrants.
  • Whoever wins the presidency will face significant opposition to giving eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants. Just 25 percent of Republican and 50 percent of Democratic primary/caucus voters said they would support such an effort.
  • Pro-enforcement voters have a greater intensity of views than supporters of legalization. Among Republicans, almost nine out ten who favored causing illegals to return home said they strongly supported that view; on the other hand, fewer than half of Republicans who backed legalization strongly supported that view.
  • This greater intensity also exists among Democrats. Of Democrats who favored causing illegals to return home, more than seven out of ten strongly supported that view; on the other hand, fewer than six out of ten who favored legalization strongly supported that view.

Methodology: The survey of 1,276 persons who voted in a primary or caucus was conducted March 12-13. The survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

Even though this study shows that there are some uninformed McCain voters, the fact of the matter is that McCain is the presumptive GOP nominee. Basically, those who are going to vote for him are doing so on more issues than immigration.

However, these findings are extremely problematic for Hillary Clinton, whose campaign has been on a downward spiral for weeks, despite leading in polls in upcoming primaries.

The fact of the matter is that she is avoiding answering questions in a straightforward manner which leaves her supporters in a position where they have to guess, or naturally assume Hillary Clinton is on the same page as them.

Obama on the other hand, seems to be much more straightforward on the issues and doesn’t beat around the bush when he is asked questions.

Is this going to be an election of straight talk? We’ll see.