CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Poll shows majority of Americans support immigration reform

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A majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as well as a more lenient view on same-sex marriage and marijuana laws, results from a nationwide post election poll show.

According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,023 adults, 57 percent of Americans adults support a path to freedom for illegal immigrants currently working in the U.S. and 39 percent oppose it, well outside the 3.5 percent margin of error.

A majority of support came from the western and southern parts of the country with 64 and 56 percent support, respectively. A majority of self-described liberals and moderates expressed support for immigration reform as did 47 percent of self-described conservatives.

Latinos polled in the survey expressed the most favorability toward a path to citizenship with 82 percent supporting and 17 percent opposing. Hispanic voter turnout reached an all-time high of 10 percent this past election, with President Barack Obama winning more than 70 percent of the Latino vote.

In the wake of the large racial gap between Democrats and Republicans in the election, some GOP politicians and conservative pundits have called for more Latino outreach and reconsideration of immigration reform.

The poll also showed a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, but by a significantly smaller margin than immigration reform. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they support same-sex marriage compared to 47 percent who oppose, putting it squarely within the margin of error.

This past election three states — Maine, Maryland and Oregon — legalized same-sex marriage through ballot measures and joined six other states and the District of Columbia as the only bodies recognizing marriages between two men or two women.

Minnesota voted down a ballot measure making same-sex marriage unconstitutional last week, however, a majority of states have such bans.

The poll showed 59 percent of respondents in the Northeast supported same-sex marriage, compared to 37 percent opposing. In the West 54 percent supported, with 43 percent in opposition.

According to the poll the Midwest supported same-sex marriage by the slimmest of margins — 50 percent to 49 percent. The South showed solid opposition, with 52 percent against and 45 percent for same-sex marriage.

Though support was down 2 percent since the last ABC News/Washington Post sponsored poll on May 20, overall, support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise since 2003 when it polled at 37 percent support.

Another major ballot movement, the legalization of marijuana, also was examined in the poll, revealing 48 percent support the measure and 50 percent oppose legalizing “small amounts of marijuana for personal use.”

Colorado and Washington both passed measures to legalize the drug for personal use. A similar measure in Oregon was voted down.

Legalized marijuana received more support from men than women, 52 percent against 45 percent, and more support from adults 18-29 compared to those 65 and older, 55 percent against 30 percent.

Like same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana also has been on the rise, starting out at 39 percent in 2002.

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