By John Wagner, The Washington PostPosted July 16, 2018 11:09:25President Donald Trump has made immigration a centerpiece of his political agenda.
But in a new survey from Public Policy Polling, Democrats are at a distinct disadvantage compared to Republicans.
The poll found that only 36 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans say they are more likely to oppose or be in favor of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, compared to a full 60 percent of independents and 70 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
Democrats are also less likely to be supportive of a border wall as part of Trump’s plan to create a new pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The poll also found that 54 percent of Latinos and 35 percent of African Americans said they would not vote for a candidate who supported building a border barrier.
“The gap between Democrats and Republicans is particularly stark in the areas where Democrats are more supportive of border security,” said Frank Newport, a political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
The survey was conducted in late May.
It’s the latest in a series of national polls that have found Democrats more reluctant to back building a barrier than Republicans.
In an earlier survey from July, 49 percent of Americans said the wall was the top issue facing the country.
That number dropped to 36 percent by the end of July.
In the latest poll, 43 percent of those polled said the issue of building the border wall was most important to them, with 31 percent saying it was most related to jobs.
Forty-five percent said the border was the most important issue to them.
The latest survey found that the Democratic Party has a larger base than Republicans in both demographics and that there are more Latinos in the country than the white population.
More than half of all Democrats (56 percent) say they’re at least somewhat likely to support a border-wall candidate, while 37 percent of all Republicans said they are at least slightly likely to vote for one.
More Democrats (48 percent) are more opposed to building a new path to citizenship, with 30 percent saying they are less likely.
But the gap between Republicans and Democrats on that issue is smaller, at 41 percent compared to 46 percent.
The Democratic Party is also more likely than the Republican Party to be in support of building an additional pathway to a citizenship for immigrants who came to the U.-S.
illegally, at 69 percent compared with 61 percent.
Republicans are more in favor than Democrats of a new visa program to encourage immigrants who entered the country illegally to return to their home countries.
But Democrats are less in favor (28 percent) than Republicans are (46 percent).
The survey also found a gender gap in support for building a fence along the border.
Forty percent of women said they support a fence, compared with 43 percent among men.
The GOP is more likely in favor and more supportive than Democrats on a new immigration-related measure that encourages undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits.
Forty three percent of Republican respondents said they favor the new plan, while 43 percent said they oppose it.
The gap is narrower among Hispanics, but the gap remains.
Hispanics are at roughly twice the support level for a new program that encourages them to seek work permits, at 79 percent compared a similar amount of support for the old program at 68 percent.
There’s also a gender disparity in support, with women more in support than men (65 percent to 56 percent) for the new immigration plan, but women are at more support than their male counterparts in other categories.