Perplexing Post Poll Provokes Plausibility

On October 10, the Denver Post published an article Poll: Big majority of Colorado Republicans support path to citizenship, by Allison Sherry. The article immediately grabbed my attention because a new Pew poll said exactly the opposite:  Pew Poll: 60% Oppose Obama on Immigration Reform. Also see the article Public Revolts Against Obama, Political Establishment's Amnesty Efforts.

Thus began my quest to ascertain the accuracy and substance of the Post article. 

The article's thesis

The Post article stated: "...More than three-quarters of Colorado Republicans back a minimum 13-year path to citizenship for people living in the U.S. without legal permission if they learn English, pass a criminal background check and pay taxes and fees, according to a recent poll...

The poll found 63 percent of Colorado Democrats say they believed in the 13-year path to citizenship, and among unaffiliated voters the number was 70 percent...

In Colorado, 46 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats are more likely to support an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform."

The article then noted out that Rep. Mike Coffman (R, Aurora) flipped his position on amnesty because of his new district. (See the CAIRCO blog post A Dissection of Mike Coffman's Misguided Amnesty Missive by Fred Elbel). 

The article seemed to imply that neocon open borders "Conservative, Inc." politicians are out of line because they attach conditions to giving amnesty (path to citizenship) to illegal aliens. The article stated, "Presented with the poll's findings Friday, those Republicans — Reps. Scott Tipton, Cory Gardner and Doug Lamborn — said they instead want to focus on border security and a guest-worker program before tackling plans for a path to citizenship."

The problem

A Pew poll released at the same time as the poll referenced by the Post found that 60% of Americans oppose the amnesty for illegal aliens legislation that President Barack Obama has been pushing. It stated that in addition, 65% of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing on the economy.

See the articles Pew Poll: 60% Oppose Obama on Immigration Reform, and Public Revolts Against Obama, Political Establishment's Amnesty Efforts.

The poll referenced by the Post essentially claims the opposite of the nationally-recognized Pew poll. One might ask why the Post did not use data from the Pew poll? Perhaps that data would not have support the thesis of the article.

What was that poll?

The article stated: "The poll, paid for by three Republican interest groups including Republicans for Immigration Reform, surveyed voters in 12 battleground states, including Colorado...The Colorado survey was an automated telephone survey on Oct. 19- 21 among 500 likely voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percent..."

Some CAIRCO research revealed that the Harper Polling Co. robocall polling company formed 10 months ago. Harper Polling President, Brock McCleary served as pollster with the NRC for two years. See the article GOP Has Their Own Controversial Robopollster, National Journal, September 13, 2013.

Poll data

I asked the article's author for the poll data used in the article. She supplied data for national results, Colorado results, and Colorado crosstabs. Colorado data nicely mirrored national data. 

The second question reported in the Colorado poll results asked whether respondents think the US immigration system is broken. 76% said yes. There was no clarification as to whether respondents believed that existing laws were not being enforced, or whether they wanted amnesty for illegal aliens. 

Two more questions were:

Q: Do you support or oppose an immigration reform plan that secures our borders, expands visas for high-skill workers and farm workers, provides an employer verification program, allows young persons brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents an opportunity to earn citizenship, and provides visas to live and work here legally to undocumented immigrants without a criminal record who pay penalties and back taxes?

Strongly support 41%
Somewhat support 29%
Somewhat oppose 14%
Strongly oppose 11%
Not sure 6%

Q: Do you support or oppose an immigration reform plan that ensures undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. pay a penalty, learn English, pass a criminal background check, pay taxes, and wait a minimum of thirteen years before they can be eligible for citizenship?

Strongly support 36%
Somewhat support 34%
Somewhat oppose 15%
Strongly oppose 10%
Not sure 4%

In another question, 42% believed it important that Congress enact immigration reform this year.

The big question

How can the Harper poll be so incongruent with Pew poll results? Perhaps it is due to the complex and convoluted wording of the questions respondents were subjected to. Perhaps the Post could better serve their readers by relying on well-established nonpartisan polling agencies.

It also should be noted that the above questions as presented in the Harper poll include multiple components. However key components of true immigration sanity, such as securing the border, are not included in the Gang of Eight S. 744 amnesty bill, or if they are included, are included only in a toothless and ineffective manner. See:  Pocket Guide: Why S.744 is a Fraud and Top 40 Reasons to Oppose the Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill (S. 744)

So it doesn't matter what the poll says. It is irrelevant whether Republicans support these components, as they are not contained in substance in the S.744 amnesty bill. Thus, the three Republicans addressed in the Post article see no advantage whatsoever in caving in to the pseudo-poll and pointless pressure from the open-borders pandering Denver Post.



See the articles:

More Phony Amnesty Polling — Now with NYT Endorsement!

The Patent Falsehood of a 'Minimum 13-Year' Path to Citizenship