26 June 2012

AZ law: SUSA - 3 polls, interesting results

Immediately after the Supreme Court decision to strike down most of the AZ immigration law but to leave the perhaps most controversial section alive (at least for now) SUSA polled three very distinctly different states of the country about this: FloridaKansas and California. You could say that SUSA went coast to coast, from a true battleground state in the East to a rock solid GOP state in the Heartland to a rock solid DEM state in the West:





The survey consisted of 6 questions, all identically worded and in the same order for all three states. The survey samples were identical for all three states (500 Adults) and the mean MoE was +4.5 (details at the bottom)

Bottom line:

In all three states, a strong majority is for continuing to allow AZ police to stop people and ask for proof of citizenship, but the margins were varied: in KS it as 3:1 for, in FL it was 2:1 for and in CA it was a 15% margin.

Please read the FULL analysis below the questions before responding.

So, here are the questions. I have copied the questions and enumerated them, with thanks to SUSA. Then, I have provided the percentages for all three states, going from East to West in all cases, to be consistent. The winning percentage is bolded, italics are used in the case of a tie:

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Q1: The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on Arizona's immigration law, finding several parts of the state law unconstitutional because they conflict with federal law. In general, should states have the right? Or no right? To create immigration laws that preempt federal law? 

Florida: Right To Create 44% No Right 47%
Kansas: Right To Create 55% No Right 37%California: Right To Create 43% No Right 44%
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Q2: Now, specifically: the Supreme Court found unconstitutional the part of Arizona's law that made it a state requirement for illegal immigrants to register with the federal government. Do you agree? Or disagree? With this part of the ruling?


Florida: Agree 53% Disagree 34%
Kansas: Agree 51% Disagree 34%California: Agree 50% Disagree 34%
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Q3: Next, the Supreme Court found the part of Arizona's law that made it a state crime for illegal immigrants to work in Arizona to be unconstitutional. Do you agree? Or disagree? With this part of the ruling? 

Florida: Agree 40% Disagree 53%Kansas: Agree 40% Disagree 52%California: Agree 44% Disagree 44%
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Q4: The Supreme Court also found unconstitutional the part of Arizona's law that allowed police to arrest any person, without a warrant, if the officer believed the person had committed an offense that could lead to deportation. Do you agree? Or disagree? With this part of the ruling? 

Florida: Agree 46% Disagree 49%Kansas: Agree 47% Disagree 48%California: Agree 45% Disagree 47%
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Q5: However... the Supreme Court ruled that the part of the Arizona law that allows Arizona police officers to check the immigration status of any person stopped for any reason can remain in effect. Do you agree? Or disagree? With this part of the ruling? 

Florida: Agree 63% Disagree 29%Kansas: Agree 72% Disagree 24%California: Agree 53% Disagree 38%
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Q6: Based on what you know so far about this ruling, do you think it benefits President Obama, benefits Mitt Romney? Benefits both? Or benefits neither? 

Florida:Benefits Obama 25% Benefits Romney 16% Benefits Both 11% Benefits Neither 41%
Kansas: Benefits Obama 28% Benefits Romney9% Benefits Both 17% Benefits Neither 38%California: Benefits Obama 29% Benefits Romney 8% Benefits Both 16% Benefits Neither 37%
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So, let's dissect this thing.
In two of six questions, the results from all three states were almost identical to each other:
 questions 2 and 4. 

In question 2, around 52% of all respondents from all 3 states found it correct that that Supremes struck down the part of AZ law that would require illegal immigrants to register themselves with the Federal Government. The bottom line (those who disagreed with the decision) was absolutely identical in all three cases: 34%. This is most interesting considering that the ideological make-up of all three states is very, very different and yet, on this question, our citizens were VERY consistent in their answers.

The only catch to this is of course that Federal Code, which was revised under Reagan and again within an appropriations bill in 1997, already requires illegal immigrants to register with the Federal Government, so the question is a little moot. I would bet that most people did not know this.

In question 4, the responses were also pretty much identical: in the question, the Supremes struck down the part that would allow the AZ police to arrest anyone just based on a suspicion that that person had broken the law and could therefore be deported. In all three cases, a slight plurality was against the Supreme Court decision, but the margin is so small that it is essentially a tie. And most interesting that the highest percentage of citizens who AGREED with the Supremes' decision were in Kansas and not in California. But the spread, on the average was +1.6% against the decision, but under 50% total. In other words, split-decision.

In question 5, as mentioned at the top of the thread, a vast majority of citizens are FOR continuing to allow the police to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for any reason, only the margins are varied.

That leaves 3 other questions.

On two questions, opinions varied strongly from each other.

In question 3, California dissented with Florida and Kansas as to whether it is really a crime for an illegal immigrant to work in a state. In California, it was a 44-44 tie as to whether the Supreme Court decision to strike down this part of the AZ law was right or not. Interestingly enough, Hispanic and Black citizens make up 44% of California. But in FL and KS, the results were practically identical and a majority thought that the Supreme's decision to strike this part of the law is wrong.

The question in which the variance was the strongest was Question 1, the so-called "states rights" question. Here again in the question:

Q1: The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on Arizona's immigration law, finding several parts of the state law unconstitutional because they conflict with federal law. In general, should states have the right? Or no right? To create immigration laws that preempt federal law? 

We can see quite clearly that this is a states rights question.

Both FL and CA were relatively tied on this one, with a slight plurality but not a majority saying that states do not have the right to pre-empt federal law. However, KS had a whopping +18% advantage FOR allowing states to pre-empt FED law. Interesting.


The final question was as to whether this decision benefits Obama, Romney, neither or both.

The results were uniform: in all three cases, a plurality (but not a majority) between 37%-41% say that the decision benefits no one. But when you compare Obama only to Romney, Obama comes out on top and the topline value is very consistent: between 25% and 29% (average: 27.33%). In two of three cases, Romney got 8% and 9%, but he got 16% in Florida (average 11.00%), which is an average margin of Obama +16.33% over Romney in this case.

For my way of thinking, none of this has far-reaching electoral implications for either candidate, but it does show that people are thinking about this. And notice that in 4 of six questions, on the whole, people from three very different states were more alike in their views than they were different.

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the stats:

FL: 500 Adults, +/-4.5% (+/-4.3% on question 5)
KS: 500 Adults, +/-4.5% (+/-4.0% on question 5)
CA: 500 Adults, +/-4.5% (no variance on question 5)

Question 5 was the KEY question in the survey, I think.
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This is interesting material to discuss. I suspect that SUSA may just do a 50 state study of this.

12 June 2012

Revving up.

I have been absent from this blog for about 3 months.

In less than one week, the first major electoral predictions will be coming out.

Afterward, nightly polling reports, every night.

With less than 5 months until election day, things are revving up again!