Poll Says Americans Support Immigration Reform and 20-Week Abortion Ban
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A poll released Friday found a majority of Americans support the Senate “Gang of Eight’s” immigration reform and support efforts to move the abortion ban from 24 weeks after conception to 20 weeks.
The immigration reform bill has been a leading priority for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Rubio is also expected to be the sponsor of the 20-week abortion bill in the Senate.
"The public supports the immigration bill 2:1 and shows unusual agreement given the divisions in the country on many other issues," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It seems the only group divided on this issue is Congress."
As Brown noted, support for the immigration reform bill stretches across party lines with 73 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans supporting it. A larger percentage of independent voters -- 35 percent -- oppose the immigration reform than Democrats -- 22 percent -- or Republicans -- 33 percent.
The poll found there is a slight gender gap on the issue with women supporting immigration reform more than men. More than two-thirds of women surveyed -- 68 percen t- -support the Senate bill while 60 percent of men do. Only 24 percent of women oppose it compared to 37 percent of men.
Hispanics support the immigration reform bill more than whites and blacks. Only 19 percent of Hispanics oppose the bill while 72 percent support it. While 22 percent of blacks oppose the bill, 69 percent of them support it. Whites are more divided but 63 percent of them support the immigration reform bill while 33 percent oppose it.
The poll also found most Americans remain pro-choice on abortion with 58 percent saying they want abortion to remain legal in most or all cases while 37 percent think it should be illegal in most or all cases. Despite that, 55 percent of those surveyed want to see abortion banned 20 weeks after conception while 30 percent think it should be banned after 24 weeks.
There is a partisan divide on the issue. The poll finds 62 percent of Republicans favor the 20-week ban while only 17 percent favor the 24-week ban. Democrats are more divided with 46 percent preferring the 20-week ban and 44 percent favoring the 24-week ban. A majority of independents -- 59 percent -- prefer the 20-week ban while 26 percent support the 24-week ban.
Surprisingly, women lean toward the 20-week ban, with 60 percent of them favoring it and only 25 percent preferring the 24-week ban. Men are more divided, with 50 percent of them thinking the 20-week ban is for the best while 35 percent of them favor the 24-week ban. The poll finds almost no differences between whites, blacks and Hispanics on this issue.
The poll of 1,468 registered voters was taken from July 28-31 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.