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Build that wall? Trump voters not so solid, not so conservative

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Some shocking contradictions in poll results just released suggest that while President Trump might be holding on to strong support from his base, that base may not be either conservative or even necessarily Republican, and is far from obstinate on the issue of illegal immigration.

Some just-released findings from a recent Monmouth University poll indicate that those describing themselves as “conservatives” are far from speaking with one voice on immigration.

This could suggest that some conservatives believe that free-market principles are aligned with a more permissive immigration policy (which is the position of some people in the Objectivist camp inspired by Ayn Rand).

It could also suggest a disconnect between describing oneself as conservative, and actually being conservative.

The support among self-described conservatives for both “the wall” (61%) and deportation (34%) of illegal aliens living and working here at least two years was actually lower than for those positions among Trump voters (70% and 37%, respectively). This suggests significant Trump support among respondents who do not consider themselves “conservative” when given three ideological choices of liberal, moderate or conservative.

More than half (only half?) of self-identifying Republicans (58%) and self-described conservatives (57%) — but a whopping 95% of respondents who said they voted for Trump –think illegal immigration is a “serious” or “somewhat serious” problem. In results which are encouraging to those of us who think our youngest fellow voters are a lost generation, note that about two-thirds of respondents under age 35 agree that illegal immigration is at least a somewhat serious issue.

While 70% of Trump voters and about two-thirds of self-reporting Republicans (65%) want Trump to “build the wall,” conservatives (who, mind you, likely comprise a major part of both of these prior subsets) favor the wall at just a 61% clip; on the far left end, liberals are almost 8-to-1 against it and nearly three-quarters of all respondents under age 35 oppose it.

Different questions on deportation yield a surprising find: Conservatives and Trump supporters take a harder line on “DREAMers” than on illegal aliens who have been living and working here for at least two years. Poll results (which are adjusted so Republicans account for 25% of the weighted respondents) show that more than half of self-identifying Republicans (51%) and 54% of both conservatives and Trump voters favor deporting “DREAMers,” but only 30% of Republicans, 34% of conservatives and 37% of Trump voters favor deporting illegal aliens who have lived and worked here for at least two years.

Yet other polling data previously released by the same Monmouth University Polling Institute yesterday points to many Trump voters perhaps being okay with a leftward pivot on immigration, i.e., amnesty. That is the takeaway from this one question, posed to the entire polling group.

If President Trump does soften his position on immigration – would you be very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with him?

23% Very satisfied
42% Somewhat satisfied
14% Somewhat dissatisfied
15% Very dissatisfied
 6% (VOL) Don't know

As for the subset of “Trump voters” (those who reported not just supporting, but actually voting for Trump), the numbers for the same question were surprising:

12% Very satisfied
38% Somewhat satisfied
23% Somewhat dissatisfied
21% Very dissatisfied
 6% (VOL) Don't know

This means at least half of self-reporting Trump voters might be quite okay with amnesty.

And what about self-reporting “conservatives”? This might be the biggest surprise of all.

15% Very satisfied
35% Somewhat satisfied
23% Somewhat dissatisfied
22% Very dissatisfied
 5% (VOL) Don't know

For what it’s worth, a combined 76% of liberals and 72% of “moderates” reported they would be either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with Trump’s “softening” on immigration.

Even if one makes the following conservative assumptions: that all persons polled voted last year, half of those polled voted for Trump and all of those voters support “building the wall,” it would seem that at least half of both self-described Trump voters and conservatives may at least tolerate “amnesty.”

As for a broader insight on current political opinions, it helps to ignore the soundbites and headline conclusions issued by the pollster, and instead go to the granular, raw data it provided.

Job approval ratings, while tepid (40%) on an overall basis, show lots of promise for the President. Among those who reported voting for Trump, 86% approve and only 4% disapprove of his job performance, while among self-described “conservatives,” 67% approve.

No matter what the major news organizations may say in their headlines and ledes, this data strongly suggests Trump is well established in the driver’s seat for renomination in 2020.

Conservative corporate lawyer, commentator, blockchain technology patent holder and entrepreneur. Headquartered in a red light district in the middle of a deep blue People's Republic.

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