WASHINGTON -- A strong majority of Americans want Congress to address immigration next year, and most think the topic has received too little attention from candidates in the midterm elections, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll released Monday.
The poll found that 44 percent of likely voters said it's very important that Congress pass legislation in the next year dealing with immigration, and another 37 percent called it somewhat important. Only 19 percent said it was either not very important or not at all important.
Immigration reform was a key issue during the first part of Obama's second term and will likely continue to be prominent over the next two years. Some Democrats have gone after Republicans this election cycle for opposing comprehensive reform, particularly in the House where a Senate-passed bill was blocked. Republicans, on the other hand, have criticized President Barack Obama for his policies and blamed him for an influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally earlier this year.
In many races, though, candidates have focused on the economy, Obamacare and foreign policy instead of immigration. Despite voter interest, many respondents in the latest poll said they didn't think candidates were talking much about the issue. Fifty-five percent of likely voters said immigration topics were getting too little attention from candidates, while 26 percent said they were getting about the right amount of attention. Nine percent said immigration was getting too much attention, and another 10 percent were not sure. Most likely voters -- 57 percent -- said they hadn't seen ads or campaign mailers that mentioned immigration from either side.
The poll also asked about likely voters' stances on legal status and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Most Democratic politicians support citizenship -- albeit with conditions and a wait process -- while many Republican lawmakers say they're for either legal status or nothing at all for undocumented immigrants. According to the poll, 40 percent of likely voters support creating a legal way for undocumented immigrants to become U.S. citizens, while 46 percent oppose such a move. Thirteen percent said they were not sure.
The poll was roughly evenly split based on party preference: 43 percent of those polled said they will vote for a Democratic candidate for the House and 45 percent said they would vote for a Republican.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 2 among 794 likely voters using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.
The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.