President Trump's proposal moving to a "merit-based" immigration system might resonate with voters, according to Pulse Opinion Research polling sponsored by right-leaning, restrictionist Numbers USA Education & Research Foundation.
The Washington Examiner is the first to obtain Pulse Opinion Research's report. Researchers found that the majority of voters in 25 states, when asked about what levels of immigration the government should allow, preferred between 25 and 75 percent cuts in annual immigration figures. The most popular choice among respondents was requiring at least 75 percent cuts to annual legal immigration numbers.
The majority of respondents in states along the southern U.S.-Mexico border, like Texas, Arizona and California, the Midwest and the Ohio corridor support cuts of upwards of 75 percent in legal immigration.
Pulse Opinion Research polled 1,000 likely midterm election voters in each state, with the exception of North Dakota and Indiana. Researchers contacted likely voters primarily through randomly generated phone calls, but also used online surveys for roughly 25 percent of respondents. The margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, and results are weighted to reflect demographic factors.
Numbers USA favors lower immigration levels.
Trump focuses a great deal of his rhetoric on and off the campaign trail on immigration, an issue that largely fueled his rise to the presidency in 2016. Nearly two years into his presidency, the president's supporters remain united behind and energized by the president's immigration platform.
In front of a crowd of 10,000 Iowans and Nebraskans Tuesday evening, many of whom are farmers that rely on immigrant labor, Trump was met with explosive applause when he mentioned his immigration philosophy.
"And by the way, we need people helping you. We need people coming in. We need people to run the farms. We're going to have people coming in. But they're going to come in legally, and they're going to come in through merit, through merit. It's called the merit system," Trump said Tuesday evening.
The president's comments were met with a resounding "Build the Wall!" chant, to which he assured the crowd it is "going up right now."
Not all Americans agree with the president's views on immigration, although the differing numbers make it difficult to ascertain the true level of public support.
One early September CNN poll found that only 35 to 36 percent of American's have a favorable view of Trump's immigration policies. Another October CNN poll conducted by SRSS found that Americans trust Democrats over Republicans to handle immigration, 49 percent to 42 percent.
Gallup found in September that Americans believe Republicans are in slightly a better position to keep the U.S. secure from outside threats. Immigration polled as one of the top concerns on the minds of voters. The polling house also tracks Americans views on the appropriate level of immigration on a year-to-year basis. In 2018, Gallup found that marginally more Americans want decreased levels of immigration than current levels.