An immigrant rights group has polled likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers to get their views on immigration. The group hopes to use the results to influence the Republican race for President.
The Partnership for a New American Economy commissioned the poll of 400 likely GOP caucus-goers.
Seventy-seven percent support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and fewer than one in five favor deportation.
Republican strategist John Stineman says the survey shows a pro-reform candidate can win in Iowa.
“It’s time for a reset on the immigration issue in Republican politics,” Stineman says.
After Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012, Republican political analysts warned that taking a hard line on immigration reform will not help their chances in 2016.
Stineman says the new poll seems to back that up.
“It’s time to tear away labels like “amnesty,” Stineman says.
Former State Senator Jeff Angelo added, “There seems to be a disconnect between the actual beliefs of Iowa Republicans and how those beliefs are portrayed by the national media.”
Stineman says the poll shows that as voters get more details about a path to citizenship, the more likely they will oppose deportation.