|Immigration or Iraq?|
Survey of 1,000 Adults
December 9-10, 2005
December 16, 2005--The situation in Iraq has been the dominant political issue of the past several years and will probably be the defining issue of the Bush Presidency. However, immigration is emerging as an issue that may play a critical role in defining the next Administration.
On December 15, the House of Representatives passed legislation calling for a barrier along the Mexican border. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans favor building such a barrier (an earlier survey found 60% support). There is substantially less support when voters are asked about building a "wall" between the U.S. and Mexico.
That earlier survey found that 75% of Americans consider immigration to be a somewhat or very important voting issue.
Already, 29% of Americans nationally consider immigration a more important voting issue than Iraq. That's barely half the 54% who consider Iraq more important, but it's remarkably high for an issue that both major political parties have generally avoided.
Among those who consider Immigration more important than the situation in Iraq, 79% favor a barrier to reduce illegal immigration along the Mexican border.
The regional impact of this issue cannot be overlooked. In Nevada, voters are evenly divided as to whether immigration or Iraq is more important. Rasmussen Reports will be measuring this topic in other border states over the coming months.
The partisan dynamic is also very significant. Democrats overwhelmingly say Iraq is the most important issue. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Howard Dean's party hold that view while only 15% name immigration as more important.
However, Republicans are evenly divided--42% say immigration is a more important issue while 41% name Iraq.
Among those not affiliated with either major party, 47% say Iraq is a more important issue while 30% name immigration.
A separate survey found that 54% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the Minutemen volunteers who patrolled portions of the Mexican border earlier this year.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans say it is too easy for people from other countries to enter the United States.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.
Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.
During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.
Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
The telephone survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports December 9-10, 2005. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. 37% of survey respondents were Republican, 37% Democrat, and 26% unaffiliated (see Methodology)