A new poll by CBS News suggests that if Democrats were hoping the crush of illegal immigrants at the U.S. border would spark a “blue wave” in November’s midterms, they might need to come up with a new strategy.
Democrats are seeing their lead over Republicans in a generic ballot preference shrinking, even in a poll conducted during some of the most intense media coverage of illegal immigrants and the fate of their children when crossing into the U.S.
The CBS poll, conducted in partnership with YouGov, found Democrats holding a four-point advantage — 40 percent to 36 percent — when respondents were asked which party they would like to see win control of Congress in November. The remaining 24 percent of respondents replied “doesn’t matter” to the question.
By comparison, an NBC poll asking the same question at the beginning of June found 50 percent of respondents wanted to see Democrats take control of Congress, or 10 points higher than Republicans.
That’s a 60 percent drop in the margin enjoyed by Democrats in about a three-week period, suggesting either poor methodology by one of the two organizations, or the fact the immigration crisis has not hurt Republicans as they prepare for the midterms.
When asked if the situation happening to detained families at the border would impact their votes in November, 53 percent of respondents said it would not. While 28 percent did say it would make them more likely to vote for a Democrat, 19 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for a Republican, meaning the current border crisis has swayed some voters, but nowhere near a majority.
The CBS poll also found that for as much criticism as President Donald Trump has received for his handling of the illegal immigrant situation at the border, nearly one in three respondents said they would prefer to vote for a Republican who was in line with the president’s policies.
About one-third of respondents — 34 percent — said the treatment of families and children at the border would be “very important” in how they choose to vote in November, while 27 percent said it would be “somewhat important.”
The poll also found “voters in Texas, Florida and Arizona — all of which are important states for Democrats in the midterms — believe Hispanic illegal and legal immigrants have had a negative effect on their lives,” according to analysis by The Daily Caller.
Voter turnout is going to be critical for both sides in November, and the CBS poll found interest in this year’s midterms is higher than in recent years — but nowhere near the interest in a presidential election.
Only 58 percent said they were either definitely or probably voting in November’s races, while 16 percent said they were “definitely not” going to vote.
When asked if they had voted in either the 2010 or 2014 midterms, 53 percent said they had not.
The poll found 67 percent of respondents described the economic conditions in their area as “very good” or “somewhat good,” which might signal why Democrats are using every chance they can to use the border crisis as a way to distract from the strong economy during the first 18 months of Trump’s presidency.
The CBS/YouGov poll sampled 2,063 adults between June 21-22, has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.
With midterms less than five months away, Democrats are likely to milk the border crisis and the issue of illegal immigration as long as possible to use as leverage against Trump and the Republicans.
So far it doesn’t appear to have worked in turning the majority of voters against Republicans, but the party will need to maintain a united front on how it deals with immigration issues if it wants to maintain its majorities in the House and Senate in November.
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