The George Washington University Battleground Poll shows that more Americans trust Republicans to do a better job handling immigration than Democrats, 48 to 41 percent — and in states with competitive Senate races, the share of people who trust Republicans more on immigration jumps to 61 percent. In addition, the poll shows that 58 percent of Americans either somewhat or strongly disapprove of President Obama's handling of immigration.
The findings indicate that immigration could be a more hazardous political issue for Democrats than previously thought. In an election cycle without any prevailing national theme, immigration has recently moved to the top of the national consciousness, according to Gallup polling.
Immigration is not the only bright spot for Republicans in the poll, which shows disapproval of Democrats and, in particular, President Obama on a range of issues.
“Though the American public is as divided as it has been all year, as we head into the 2014 general elections the advantage among likely voters is flowing toward Republicans,” said Christopher Arterton, poll director and George Washington University professor of political management. “Despite the public's antipathy toward Congress, particularly toward the Republican leadership in the House, President Obama has become a lightning rod for discontent on a number of fronts."
The poll shows 48 percent of people strongly disapprove of Obama's work on the federal budget and spending, and 45 percent strongly disapprove of his job performance on foreign policy.
Perhaps most troubling for Democrats, the survey shows Republican voters are likely to act on this disapproval come November: 69 percent of Republicans surveyed said they are extremely likely to vote in the midterm elections, compared to just 57 percent of Democrats.
The live-caller poll, conducted by The Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners, surveyed 1,000 likely voters from Aug. 24-28 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.