61 Percent of Republicans and Republican Leaning Independents Say GOP Puts ‘Too Little’ Emphasis on Illegal Immigration, Says Washington Post Poll

By Pete Winn | November 30, 2009 | 4:55 PM EST

Sixty-one percent of Republicans and independents who say they lean towards the Republican Party say they think the Republican Party puts “too little” emphasis on the issue of illegal immigration, according to a new Washington Post poll.

The poll asked respondents their opinion about the degree of emphasis the Republican Party puts on eight issues: gun rights, same-sex marriage, abortion, federal spending, taxes, the environment, illegal immigration, and the economy and jobs.

The question was: “Thinking about the Republican Party in general and not just the people in Congress, for each issue area I name, please tell me if you think the party in general puts (too much) emphasis on the issue, (too little) emphasis on the issue, or about the right amount?”
Of the eight issues, illegal immigration was the one to which the most people said the party gave too little emphasis.  Sixty-one percent of the Republicans and Republican leaning independents said the GOP gave illegal immigration too little emphasis. Another 29 percent said the GOP gives illegal immigration the right amount of emphasis. Only 9 percent said the GOP gives illegal immigration too much emphasis.
The two issues that ranked second for the percentage of people who say the GOP gives them “too little” emphasis were “the economy and jobs” and “federal spending.” Sixty percent of respondents said Republicans give each of these two issues too little emphasis.
On none of the issues polled did a majority say that Republicans put “too much” emphasis.  Seventy-six percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the GOP either put “too little” or the “right amount” of emphasis on abortion, while 23% said the GOP put “too much” emphasis on abortion.  Seventy percent said the GOP put either “too little” or the “right amount” of emphasis on same-sex marriage, while 27% said the GOP put “too much” emphasis on same-sex marriage.
                           Too Much     Too Little     Right Amount     No Opinion
Second Amendment  16                  33                     50                   2
Same-sex marriage    27                  32                    38                   3
Abortion                     23                  34                    42                  1
Federal Spending      11                  60                    28                  1
Taxes                        11                  44                    44                   1
The environment       14                 38                     47                   1
Illegal immigration      9                   61                     29                   1
Economy & jobs         3                   60                     36                  1         

The poll, released Monday, was a random-dial telephone survey of 1,306 people, conducted Nov. 19-23. The sample included 485 Republicans and 319 Republican-leaning “nonpartisans.”