POLITICS
03/17/2017 08:01 am ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Support For Harsher Immigration Policies Is Dropping, Survey Finds

Americans increasingly prefer a focus on a path to legal residency, according to a poll released Friday.
HIDALGO, TX - MARCH 14: The border fence between the United States and Mexico stands at an international bridge between the t
John Moore via Getty Images
HIDALGO, TX - MARCH 14: The border fence between the United States and Mexico stands at an international bridge between the two countries on March 14, 2017 in Hidalgo, Texas. 

The majority of Americans doesn’t want to see mass deportations. Most of President Trump’s opponents don’t understand why anyone approves of him. And the new GOP health care bill is off to a rocky start in gaining public support. This is HuffPollster for Friday, March 17, 2017.

AMERICANS BREAK WITH TRUMP ON IMMIGRATION - Tal Kopan and Jennifer Agiesta: “Americans disagree with President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities, according to a new CNN/ORC poll, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they’d like to see a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants rather than deportations. Trump has made tough border security and strict enforcement of US immigration laws a focal point of his campaign and presidency ― using some of his first executive orders to pave the way for far more deportations and detentions as well as ordering the construction of a Southern border wall. But a CNN/ORC poll released Friday finds that the public is actually moving in the opposite direction since Trump has won election. All told, 60% say the government’s top priority in dealing with illegal immigration should be developing a plan to allow those in the US illegally who have jobs to become legal residents….The number who prioritize legal status for those working in the US illegally is up from 51% who said so last fall. That shift comes across party lines, with Democrats and independents each 10 points more likely and Republicans 8 points more likely to choose a plan for legal status now compared with last fall.” [CNN]

MANY AMERICANS CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR POLITICAL OPPONENTS ARE THINKING  - HuffPollster: “Nearly half of Americans have already gotten into a political argument this year, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds….While 48 percent of Americans who personally approve of [President] Trump’s job performance say they understand why someone would disapprove of him, 43 percent say they can’t understand that, the poll finds. Trump’s opponents are even more vehement, with two-thirds of those who disapprove saying they can’t understand why anyone would approve of him, and just 23 percent that they can understand his supporters….People generally say their closest circle mostly shares their views of the president: 60 percent of those who approve of Trump’s job performance say most or all of their family and close friends also approve, while 76 percent of those who disapprove of the president say that opinion is shared by most or all of their friends and family.” [HuffPost]

MOST POLLS SHOW LITTLE SUPPORT FOR GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN - HuffPollster: “Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act have been met with a largely frosty reception by the public, according to the latest polling released this week. A Fox News poll published Wednesday night finds that just 34 percent of registered voters support the GOP’s health care plan, with 54 percent in opposition ― 36 percent oppose because it makes too many changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and 11 percent because it makes too few. A SurveyMonkey poll shows similar reactions, with most Americans opposed to the Republican bill, 55 percent to 42 percent. The poll finds more intense opposition than support, with just 18 percent saying they strongly support the bill, while 38 percent say that they’re strongly opposed to it. The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, meanwhile, puts opposition at 49 percent, with just 24 percent approving. A fourth poll from Morning Consult and Politico, released Wednesday, finds considerably more positive views of the bill, with 46 percent of voters approving and 35 percent disapproving. (Perhaps relevantly, theirs was also the only survey not to explicitly identify the bill as being a Republican proposal.)...Most of the surveys find significant splits across party lines.” [HuffPost, more from Fox, SurveyMonkey, PPP (D) and Morning Consult/Politico]

Many expect the plan to make things worse - Ashley Kirzinger, Liz Hamel, Elise Sugarman, Bryan Wu and Mollyann Brodie: “About half (48 percent) the public thinks the Republican replacement plan will decrease the number of people who have health insurance, while one in five (18 percent) say the number of insured people will increase and three in ten say it will stay about the same….When it comes to costs, about half (48 percent) expect the new plan to increase costs for people who buy insurance on their own, while about a quarter each say costs for these people will decrease (23 percent) or stay about the same (25 percent)....However, the public does not see a distinction in how the replacement plan would impact costs for these different groups of individuals, except when it comes to income. About four in ten Americans expect costs to increase for younger, older, urban-dwelling, and rural-dwelling people buying insurance on the individual market, while between about two in ten and one quarter expect them to decrease.” [Kaiser Family Foundation]

TRUMP’S TWEETS ARE RATED MUCH WORSE THAN TWEETS FROM HIS AIDES - HuffPollster: “Tweets from President Donald Trump’s account that are registered as being sent from from an Android ― generally a sign that the president wrote them himself ― get significantly worse scores from the public than the more innocuous tweets sent from an iPhone (presumably written by his staff)....The YouGov TweetIndex catalogues Trump’s tweets and has a representative public sample rate for each of them….The Huffington Post collected the data and separated it by whether the tweet came from Trump’s Android or an iPhone. When the tweet came from an iPhone, it scored an average of 8 points in YouGov’s TweetIndex….However, tweets that came from Trump’s Android received an average score of -21 points, 29 points worse than those presumably sent by his staff.” [HuffPost, TweetIndex]

VIEWS ON PAYING COLLEGE ATHLETES DIVIDE ALONG RACIAL LINES - Travis Waldron: “As the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments kick off this week, a majority of Americans who have any opinion on the subject are still opposed to paying college athletes, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. The survey found that 37 percent of Americans strongly or somewhat oppose paying college athletes ― beyond their scholarships, that is ― while 30 percent strongly or somewhat support the idea. The remaining third aren’t sure. But dig a little deeper, and an interesting picture emerges: White and black Americans are sharply divided on the issue. A majority ― 52 percent ― of black respondents are strongly or somewhat in favor of paying college athletes, while only 15 percent strongly or somewhat oppose the idea. Among whites, however, the numbers flip: Just 27 percent support paying those athletes, while 43 percent oppose it.” [HuffPost]

MOST AGREE THAT TRUMP’S TIES TO RUSSIA SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED - Dana Blanton: “Majorities of voters think Congress should investigate if Russia interfered with the election and allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s according to the latest Fox News Poll, taken amidst a new volley of allegations of ties between Trump and Russia, and wiretapping of Trump Tower. Sixty-six percent want a Congressional investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence the election, and 63 percent want lawmakers to look into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Voters are split 46-49 percent over whether lawmakers should investigate the wiretapping allegation. Views are clear on whether the president should produce evidence of his claim about the wiretaps:  76 percent think he should.  That isn’t just Democrats, although most agree (88 percent).  Republicans (63 percent) and independents (70 percent) also think he should show proof.” [Fox]

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FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-YouGov finds an increasingly wide partisan gap on transgender bathroom rights. [YouGov]

-Chuck Todd and Carrie Dann argue that that “Big Data broke American politics”; Seth Masket disagrees. [NBC, Vox]

-Kyle Kondik lays out initial ratings for the 2018 House elections. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Stephen Wolf (D) outlines the gubernatorial races Republicans want to win in 2018. [Daily Kos]

-Reid Wilson maps out 2016 voter turnout. [The Hill]

-Jeff Stein looks at a Democratic report on Michigan’s Macomb County, which swung hard against Hillary Clinton in 2016. [Vox]

-A Democratic poll of Obama/Trump voters finds Obamacare could help Democrats win back support. [American Bridge (D)]

-Ryan Grim and Jason Cherkis look back at the role of fake news in last year’s Democratic primary. [HuffPost]

-Harry Enten has a “cautionary tale” for liberals hoping to primary Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) [538]

-A Moscow court upholds the ruling that the Levada Center, an independent Russian pollster, should be added to the nation’s federal registry of “foreign agents.” [Moscow Times]

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