It’s not just Donald Trump: Half of Republicans share his views on immigrants …

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz pulls nearly even with Trump in Iowa, poll finds.

Almost half of Republican voters favor deporting all immigrants here illegally and barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States — a fact that helps explain Donald Trump’s resilient campaign for the party’s presidential nomination.

Each week we ask 30 smart political types who they think is the strongest candidate in the GOP field, and in the wake of the Paris terror attacks the answer is clear: Trump up, Carson down.This weekend, MSNBC ran a piece explaining how “Ted Cruz could win the GOP nomination.” An NBC News poll out last week found the Tea Party senator surging to a second-place tie with a beleaguered Ben Carson nationally, and now, a more indicative Quinnipiac poll of Iowa GOP voters finds Cruz doubling his support from only one month ago to surge to second place in front of Carson, who plummeted ten points.Rich Lowry reported yesterday in National Review on the state of the Republican presidential race in Iowa, concluding, “It’s hard to exaggerate how much things have broken [Ted] Cruz’s way.” Just 24 hours later, there’s some pretty compelling evidence that this assessment is correct. This is the first week that Carson did not receive a single first-place vote from our panel. “Carson is cratering,” said Texas-based Matt Mackowiak. “Support was soft to begin with and his campaign was woefully unprepared for front runner scrutiny.” And Donald Trump just keeps getting stronger. “Whether you agree or not, the clear and tough message from Trump on foreign affairs resonates with a large chunk of primary voters.

Here’s the new Quinnipiac poll out of the Hawkeye State: No other candidate is above 5%, though it’s worth noting that Jeb Bush, who actually had the lead in Iowa in the early summer, is down to just 4% support – one percentage point lower than Rand Paul. Data from the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll suggest those two issues — immigrants and refugees — differentiate Trump supporters from other Republicans.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush characterized the Quinnipiac poll as the “most important development in the race in months,” which may seem a little hyperbolic, but don’t dismiss the point too quickly. The numbers also show how linked those issues are for Republican voters this year and how they entwine with voters’ preference for an outsider candidate who will bring change to Washington. (For polling wonks, see a note below on sample size and statistical significance). Some of his evangelical support appears to be moving to Cruz, especially in pivotal Iowa.” “I’m putting Cruz second this week,” said former congressman Dan Maffei. “He is holding his own in the polls and the Christian right loves him. As the AP puts it, Cruz wants to cast himself, in contrast to Trump and Carson, as the “executable outsider,” after working for months to forge a friendly alliance in an effort to eventually capture Trump’s base of support. “Last month, we said it was Dr.

Nearly half of GOP-leaning respondents in the poll — 47 percent — both support the deportation of undocumented immigrants and oppose accepting refugees from Syria and other Mideast conflicts. When Carson eventually collapses, he will benefit.” Outside the top three, the big change in our rankings is Bobby Jindal’s departure from the race, which may reduce some competition for the evangelical vote in Iowa. If a GOP-leaning voter supports deportation, there is a 79 percent chance she or he also opposes Syrian refugees, compared with 54 percent if they oppose deportation.

It was very much a short-head-long-tail dynamic: in a massive field, a handful of candidates were grouped at the top, trailed by a lengthy list of candidates hovering around the margin of error. Put another way, pro-deportation/anti-refugee voters account for almost three-quarters of Trump’s support. (He’s polling at 32 percent overall in the Post-ABC poll.) Perhaps as important for Trump, his two leading rivals from the so-called establishment wing of the party fare quite poorly with the anti-immigration/refugee group — which, again, appears to comprise nearly half the GOP electorate. Marco Rubio drops from third to the sixth-place spot she vacated. “More awareness of stronger candidates like Carly Fiorina,” said talk-show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain. “She’s moved up and rightly so.” Deb Lucia, a Kansas Tea Party activist, agreed. “Biggest winner this week is Fiorina,” she said. “The CNN debate controversy put her in the spotlight and many people took a look at her for the first time and liked what they saw.” While the rest of our field largely held their positions this week, the next couple of weeks are likely to have a significant impact on the standings. The Texas Republican has long believed that he’s best positioned to benefit if/when one of the frontrunners falters, and this poll offers proof that the assumption was true: as Carson’s wayward supporters look for a new favorite, they’re not flocking to Rubio; they’re rallying behind Cruz. The freshman Texas senator elected in 2012 enjoys the commanding support of 42 percent of Tea Party voters in Iowa and his favorability in the state stands at a healthy 70 percent, in spite of his much reviled reputation in Washington, D.C.

It creates an interesting question for Republican insiders to kick around: the GOP establishment hates Cruz, but should we assume that it hates Trump more? Ben Carson polls at 19 percent; if Trump could woo all those Carson voters his way, he’d be within shouting difference of an outright majority in the primary field. Anti-immigrant/refugee voters cross traditional Republican constituencies — 32 percent identify as “very conservative,” but 39 percent say they are moderate or liberal (similar to other Republicans).

Also, cooler heads warn against getting excited just yet. “After months of campaigning and media coverage, this race is just beginning,” said Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. “There is a long time between now and February, when people start making real choices.” The poll, conducted entirely post-Paris attacks, also shows no negative impact of Trump’s recent trip to Iowa where he asked the crowd, “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” On the campaign trail, Trump has vowed to go after his new buddy if he continues to see his popularity surge to present a true threat. “Senator Cruz has been so nice to me, I can’t hit him,” Trump said in South Carolina earlier this year. “I may have to if he starts getting like really close.” “The other candidates will need miraculous comebacks to crack the top tier with slightly more than two months before the voting begins,” according to Brown. They also believe their man can win: 52 percent of voters who support deportation of immigrants say Trump has the best chance of getting elected in November 2016.

Of those who prioritize change, 67 percent support deportation and 74 percent oppose Middle Eastern refugees, both higher than among Republicans who prioritize other attributes (46 and 62 percent, respectively ). Looked at another way, the less politically troublesome opposition to refugees might serve as an opportunity for establishment Republicans to connect with these voters without staking out strong opposition to welcoming undocumented immigrants. Lastly, elite concerns about Trump’s electability may could spread as primary season rolls around or if Trump wins Iowa, galvanizing opposition around another candidate. The sample size for deportation/anti-refugee Republican voters is 163, while the sample size for all other GOP voters is 209, carrying margins of sampling error of nine and eight points, respectively.

While sample sizes are small, all reports of differing attitudes between groups below have passed standard tests of statistical significance at the 95 percent confidence level.

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