American voters say 48 - 35 percent they want their state to pass an immigration law similar to Arizona's and by an overwhelming 76 - 12 percent they say that plans by those opposed to the law to boycott Arizona are a bad idea, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Voters approve 51 - 31 percent of the Arizona law; think 45 - 36 percent it will reduce illegal immigration and want 66 - 26 percent immigration reform to move in the direction of stricter enforcement rather than integrating immigrants into American society, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.
While voters say 49 - 44 percent that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico does not make them less likely to support offshore drilling, support for offshore drilling to help America become less dependent on foreign oil is at 53 - 40 percent, down from 62 - 32 percent in an August 20, 2008, Quinnipiac University survey.
"The Arizona immigration law has emerged as a major divide in the country, but the numbers are on the side of those supporting it," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The strong plurality who says they would like a similar law in their own state probably portends the law will be an issue in many, many campaigns this November across the country. Depending on how those elections and court challenges come out, copy cat Arizona laws could be a hot issue in state capitals after November."
The support for the Arizona law comes despite the 45 - 40 percent belief by voters that it will lead to discrimination against Hispanics.
Support for the Arizona law and the desire to have a similar statute in their own state follows a similar demographic pattern: More than two-thirds of Republicans; more than half of independents and less than a third of Democrats are in favor.
On the desire to have a similar law in their own state, men agree 55 - 35 percent, while women agree 42 - 36 percent. The biggest gaps come along generational lines: Voters 18 to 34 years old oppose such a law in their state 43 - 36 percent, but voters 35 to 54 years old support such a law 52 - 33 percent and voters over 55 support such laws 55 - 32 percent.
White voters back the idea 53 - 32 percent, while black voters oppose it 43 - 26 percent and Hispanic voters oppose it 52 - 37 percent.
"Support for the Arizona law and its extension divides along political and racial lines, with much stronger support from men than women," Brown said. "While young voters are split on the law in Arizona, they don't want it in their state.
"And no group believes a boycott is a good idea."
On offshore drilling, there is a clear partisan hue to the data. Although 53 percent overall support new exploration, that breaks down to 78 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independent voters and only 41 percent of Democrats. Republican voters say 72 - 25 percent that the Gulf oil spill has not reduced their support for offshore drilling. But Democrats are having second thoughts 54 - 38 percent, as are independent voters 48 - 45 percent.
"Despite their support for continued offshore drilling, voters disapprove 42 - 39 percent of President Barack Obama's handling of the oil spill," said Brown. "Given that Democrats are generally preferred on issues like the environment; these numbers are a warning sign to the White House that the oil spill could become a political problem."
From May 19 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,914 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling - the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?