Public support for SB 1070 dropsby Hugh Holub on May. 09, 2010, under border issues, politics, SB 1070
In a Rocky Mountain Poll recently conducted, Arizona public support in Arizona for SB 1070 may not be as strong as first indications suggested.
According to the poll conducted by the Behavior Research Center (BRC) in Phoenix, support for SB 1070 stands at 52 percent in favor to 39 percent opposed and 9 percent unsure.
Among registered voters, 56 percent favor while 34 percent oppose the immigration law recently passed by the Republican majority in the legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer.
According to the BRC the data also indicates that support for SB 1070 may be shrinking modestly in the wake of negative reactions from business and economic development leaders expressing concerns about its potential impact on Arizona’s tourism and convention industries.
Support may also be shrinking due to concerns about efforts to attract new industry and jobs to Arizona – concerns similar to those expressed after former Governor Evan Mecham rescinded the MLK holiday which was later approved by voters, according to the BRC.
Initial polls suggested support for SB 1070 ran is high as 70% in Arizona.
Also influencing the shift may be intense negative political commentary at the national and
international level, characterizing Arizona as a “racist” state.
Public protests by Latinos and others may also be influencing people to have second thoughts about the wisdom of the new law.
These recent Rocky Mountain Poll results compare to an automated interviewing “robotic-call” poll released in mid-April among 500 “ likely voters” which reported that 70 percent favored the measure and only 23 percent were in opposition. The difference in results may trace to differences in polling methods, according to BRC officials.
Jim Haynes, President of the BRC explained that “ It should be remembered that the goal of polling is to faithfully report the opinions from a representative cross-section of the target universe. This requires strict random samples of the population and call backs to people who may not be at home when first dialed. Call back methods assure that all individuals in the original sample have an opportunity to express their views.”
“Differences may also trace to the fact that all calls were made on a single mid-week day which can eliminate voters who are at work, in school, driving, shopping, in after school activities, traveling or otherwise not available when the robot makes its single dial to their phone,” Haynes added.
“ As a result, surveys on single mid week days tend to under-sample the views of working age voters, while samples of “likely voters” historically tend to over sample the views of older and more affluent voters and homemakers,” Haynes said.
Not surprisingly, “reaction to the new immigration law appears to have galvanized Republicans in support of the measure,(76%) but may also be unifying Democrats (59%) into opposition. On the other hand, registered Independent are more similar in their views to Republicans than to Democrats in that they support it by a two to one ratio,” said Earl de Berge, founder of BRC and its Research Director.
DeBerge added “the law has exposed strong ethnic divisions in the state with 65 percent of Caucasians supporting it while opposition among Latinos is at 69 percent and among other ethnic minorities is 63 percent.”
“The most support for the new immigration law comes from older people (55+ years). Within this age set, 63 percent favor and 31 percent oppose.” added deBerge.
The question asked during the poll was :
“Next, a new Arizona law may soon go into effect regarding one’s U.S. citizenship status and right to be in the U.S.. The new law would require police officers in Arizona to question anyone about their immigration status if an officer suspects the person may be in the country illegally, including anyone who looks or sounds foreign. Those found to be here illegally could be jailed up to six months and fined $2,500. Do you favor or oppose the governor signing such a law if it is sent to her by the legislature?”