Recent polls reveal an unexpectedly high level of support for immigration reform among Virginia voters.
Harper Polling conducted a survey of 511 likely voters in Virginia between June 22 and 23, and found that an overwhelming majority “believe that America’s immigration system is in need of fixing,” according to the Times Dispatch. Of all the voters polled, 90 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Democrats and 92 percent of Independents recognize that something needs to change.
While the majority of Democrats support a comprehensive overhaul similar to what the U.S. Senate tried to do with their failed immigration reform bill, Republicans and Independents had significantly less support for this kind of reform.
In light of the upcoming 2016 presidential election, 83 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Independents “would rather vote for a candidate from a political party that supports immigration reform,” according to the Times Dispatch.
The Public Policy Polling (PPP) conducted a poll commissioned by the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change of 488 registered voters in Virginia’s 7th District on July 8. While the Harper Polling survey was conducted in light of the presidential election, the PPP poll was conducted in reference to House majority leader Eric Cantor’s loss to Dave Brat.
Many have argued that Cantor’s support of a comprehensive immigration reform led to his demise, but this poll suggests otherwise, according to POLITICO.
“72 percent of registered voters in Cantor’s district polled on Tuesday said they either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ support immigration reform that would secure the borders, block employers from hiring those here illegally, and allow undocumented residents without criminal backgrounds to gain legal status,” according to PPP’s poll.
Of the Republicans in the 7th District, 70 percent supported the plan.
The PPP poll concluded that immigration reform was not what ruined Cantor, rather that Cantor himself was largely unlikeable in his own district, according to POLITICO. Virginia is not as opposed to immigration reform as previously believed. In fact, many voters are ready to see change.