Independents Oppose Justice Department Lawsuit against Arizona Immigration Law by More Than Two-to-One, Says Gallup Poll

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 12, 2010 | 1:20 PM EDT

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday, April 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( - By a margin of more than two to one, according to a new Gallup poll, Independents oppose the Obama administration’s lawsuit against the new Arizona immigration law that requires local law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of someone they have stopped if there is reason to suspect the person might be in the United States illegally.

The Justice Department contends the Arizona law usurps federal authority to regulate immigration.

The poll, conducted on July 7, asked: “As you may know, the U.S. federal government yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law. Do you favor or oppose the federal government’s lawsuit to prevent the Arizona immigration law from taking effect?”

Overall, 50 percent said they oppose the Obama administration’s lawsuit, 33 percent said they favor it and 17% said they had no opinion about it.

The only group reported by Gallup in which a majority said they support the lawsuit was Democrats, who favor it by a margin of more than two-to-one--56 percent to 27 percent.
Independents, by contrast, said they oppose the lawsuit by the same greater-than-two-to-one margin, 56 percent to 27 percent.
Republicans oppose the lawsuit by more than seven-to-one, with 79 percent opposing it and 11 percent favoring it.
The more closely a person has been following news about the Arizona immigration law, the poll discovered, the more likely they would be to oppose the administration’s lawsuit. People who say they have not been closely following news about the Arizona law, said they oppose the lawsuit 36 percent to 26 percent. People who say they have been following the news about the law “somewhat closely,” oppose the lawsuit 52 percent to 40 percent. People who say they have been following news about the Arizona law “very closely,” say they oppose the lawsuit 64 percent to 31 percent.