NEWS AND OPINION:
Drama on the U.S.-Mexico border continues. Drama also continues in polls gauging voter reaction to illegal immigration challenges in the region.
Two-thirds of all voters now frown on accepting people with “questionable” asylum claims while 52% agree with President Trump‘s decision to declare a national emergency over “illegal crossings.” Another 47% would approve a “mass action by the federal government to round up and remove thousands of illegal immigrants from the U.S.”
So says a Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll of 2,182 registered U.S. voters conducted June 26-29.
“A majority of Americans want mass deportations of illegal aliens if Congress fails to reach a deal this week that closes loopholes in the country’s asylum system that allow mass flows of foreign nationals to pour through the U.S.-Mexico border,” writes Breitbart.com analyst John Binder, who focussed on one aspect of the survey.
He points out that 51% of all American voters say they support mass deportations of the 11 million to 22 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
“More than 8-in-10 Republican voters, as well as more than 5-in-10 swing voters, said President Trump should carry out mass deportations of illegal aliens following Congressional inaction. Nearly 9-in-10 Trump supporters said the same,” Mr. Binder writes.
An Inside the Beltway foray into the 277-page poll revealed some more specifics which often appear muted or omitted in typical news coverage: 54% of the respondents say people should be granted asylum in the U.S. only if they faced direct political or religious violence — not “general violence.”
On a related front, the Harvard survey also finds that 67% of voters say the U.S. census should be able to ask whether people living here are U.S. citizens. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
A BASIC RULE
Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden recently had a combative interview on CNN and became “visibly frustrated” after failing to offer a focused answer regarding his beliefs on school busing during an earlier era.
It was not a memorable moment.
“There’s an old adage in politics: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. And ever since last week’s Democratic debate, Biden has been tripping over himself to explain his lackluster performance and generally acting like, well, a loser,” advises Mark Hemingway, a writer for RealClearInvestigations.com.
CNN’S BIG DRAW
The countdown is on for the next round of Democratic debates, which arrive three weeks from Tuesday at a major arena in Detroit, to be moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. The network has released a few new details.
“CNN will conduct a live draw to determine which night each candidate will appear in the highly anticipated Democratic presidential primary debates. Both nights will air live exclusively on CNN and CNN en Espanol,” a spokesman said Monday, also noting the big draw will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
The debates will also be simulcast on CNN International and stream live online at CNN.com, and through such providers as Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire.
“The debate will come shortly after Robert Mueller is expected to testify publicly before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Mueller, former special counsel for the Justice Department and former director of the FBI, delivered a report to DOJ after spending nearly two years investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony comes as an increasing number of lawmakers, including some 2020 candidates, are calling for an impeachment inquiry to begin against President Trump,” the network said.
POLLS GONE WILD
One thing to remember is that the actual presidential election is over 500 days away. We are witnessing a lot of posturing and wheel-spinning — but that’s typical for this stage. In addition, polls gauging the horse race between Democratic presidential hopefuls are not in harmony with one another. Few have the same findings.
“They say it’s still too early to put much stock in polling of the Democratic presidential field. That’s probably true. Another reason not to put much stock in these polls is that they are all over the place,” points out Powerline analyst Paul Mirengoff.
As an example, he cites the findings of five different pollsters gauging the prospects of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden plus Sens. Kamala D. Harris, Bernard Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“How to explain the differing results? I can’t,” Mr. Mirengoff notes.
“At this early date, we shouldn’t put much stock in any of these polls. Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to conclude that we’re probably looking at a four-horse race. The likelihood that the Democratic nominee won’t come from the pack of Biden, Harris, Warren, or Sanders seems extremely small. My sense, for what little it’s worth, is that Sanders’s prospects are considerably less favorable than those of the other three,” he says, also noting that “former flavor of the week” Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is fading from the field.
“Buttigieg and the rest of the trailing field should be viewed as auditioning for the vice presidential nomination. Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker strike me as most likely among this group to win that sweepstakes, depending on whether the eventual nominee is looking for a woman, a Latino, or a black,” predicts Mr. Mirengoff.
POLL DU JOUR
• 71% of voters support comprehensive immigration reform; 79% of Republicans, 69% of independents and 66% of Democrats agree.
• 62% say there is a humanitarian and security crisis on the U.S. Mexico border: 69% of Republicans, 57% of independents and 61% of Democrats agree.
• 62% says people seeking entry with “questionable” asylum claims should be turned away “immediately”; 81% of Republicans, 64% of independents and 44% of Democrats agree.
• 52% favor the decision of President Trump to declare a national emergency at the border; 84% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 45% say current asylum laws should be tightened to accept fewer claims; 66% of Republicans, 47% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 42% say immigration is the most important issue facing the U.S.; 58% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 33% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Harvard/Harris poll of 2,182 registered U.S. voters conducted June 26-29 and released Monday.
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