Horowitz: Trump’s Ugly Nativism Runs Counter to Most Americans’ Views

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

 

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Rob Horowitz

A recent national poll from the highly regarded PEW Research Center, confirms that the ugly nativism Donald Trump is peddling while appealing to a substantial chunk of Republican primary voters, does not reflect the views of the majority of general election voters nor in many cases the majority of Republicans.

Nearly 3-out-of 4 American voters, and 2-out-of 3 Republicans favor allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country if certain requirements are met. Even before considering whether Trump’s proposal for immediately deporting all 11 million or so undocumented immigrants is remotely plausible, they reject it out of hand. In fact, during the time period when Trump has been making this case and receiving saturation media coverage for it, support among Republicans for a path to legalization has increased by 10 percentage points.
 
Similarly, 3-out-of 5 Americans oppose changing the constitution to do away with birthright citizenship. In this case, a narrow majority of Republicans do favor this change. And while general election voters as a whole are split evenly on whether or not to build a wall across the entire Southern border, 73% of Republicans do support a border fence.
 
In the short-run, Trump’s hard core anti-immigration polices, coupled with his ugly and demagogic rhetoric is helping him to stand out and to build a solid base of support in a crowded field of candidates battling for the nomination., but it is also creating a nearly insurmountable obstacle to a winning general election candidacy, if he does emerge as the nominee.
 
Donald Trump is now poison to  Latino voters with about 70% indicating an unfavorable opinion. More than one in 10 voters in the general election will be Latinos, and  this percentage will be much higher in key swing states such as Colorado and New Mexico.  Trump is on track to do even worse than Mitt Romney’s 27% of the vote in 2012—and that dramatically narrows if not all but eliminates his path to victory.  Additionally, the position he has staked out on immigration will also hurt him with moderates and independents, which comprise most of the general election swing voters..
 
Unlike Donald Trump, most Americans support a comprehensive solution to immigration—one that honors our values and enables the nation to realize more of the renewal, innovation and growth which throughout our history has always followed a more expansive, welcoming approach.  Given the way Trump's particularly nasty brand of nativism has dominated new coverage these past few months, this is no small comfort.
 
 
 Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island

 

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