Twice as many Republicans say that supporting legal status for illegal immigrants would help the GOP in national elections than those who say it will hurt the party, according to a new poll.
Thirty-nine percent of Republicans say backing legal status would help the party compared to 20 percent who think it will hurt the GOP in national elections, a new poll from the Pew Research Center said. Thirty-eight percent of Republicans say it wouldn’t make much difference.
In addition to social and economic effects of immigration reform, the issue of electoral consequences has also played a central role. Some Republicans argue that in order to stay competitive in national elections long-term, the GOP must embrace some kind of immigration reform or be left by the Democrats in the demographic dustbin of history.
Others in the GOP, though, say granting legal status or citizenship to some 11 million people in the country illegally would simply open the door for more potential voters who broke overwhelmingly for Democrats in the 2012 election.
The breakdown on predictions is about the same for the entire polling sample. Thirty-seven percent say supporting a pathway to legalization would help the GOP in national elections, 18 percent say it would hurt and 41 percent say it wouldn’t make much difference.
The telephone survey of 1,512 adults was taken from June 12-16. The total sample has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points, and the sample of Republicans has a margin of error of 5.8 percentage points.