GOP has massive messaging lead on immigration: Poll

Almost two-thirds of voters say they’re hearing more from Republicans on immigration, while only 16 percent say they’ve heard more from Democrats, according to a new poll by Vera Action and The Immigration Hub.

The poll, conducted by PerryUndem, echoed other polling in which more voters said they believe Republicans would do a better job on immigration.

Of the poll’s respondents, 44 percent said Republicans were better on the issue, 36 percent said Democrats were better, and 20 percent said neither party would do a better job, or both would handle the issue similarly.

According to a polling memo reviewed by The Hill, those “both” or “neither” voters were more likely to align with Democratic messaging than with Republican messaging on the issue.

But few voters are hearing Democratic messaging.

Case in point is the 73 percent of respondents who have heard a link between new migrants and crime, 54 percent of whom said they’ve heard of the link from Republicans and 11 percent from Democrats.

A new analysis of the Texas Department of Public Safety published Wednesday by the Cato Institute found that immigrants lacking certain documentation were less likely than natural-born citizens to be arrested and convicted of homicide between 2013 and 2022.

It’s the latest study suggesting that immigrants — documented and undocumented — are less likely to commit crimes, and therefore their presence has a downward effect on overall crime rates in the communities where they live.

Yet Republicans have successfully highlighted individual instances of crimes committed by immigrants to frame the general issue of immigration.

Immigrant advocates say that’s a sign that Democrats are either not saying enough about immigration or not countering the GOP narrative effectively.

The polling memo found that voters were responsive to a hypothetical Democratic message criticizing “scare tactics” in Republican messaging.

According to the memo, messages humanizing migrants — “Like most of us, the vast majority of migrant families are responsible people. They are mothers, fathers, children, grandparents fleeing danger. Like us, they want safety, stability, and an opportunity for a better life” — made both conservative and older voters more liable to agree that “migrants are fleeing danger, not causing it.”

The polling memo covered the results of two surveys, both conducted May 10-22 using YouGov. One survey polled 1,000 registered voters nationwide, and the other 1,904 voters with oversampling for Black, Hispanic and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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