Friday, November 10, 2017
Cathleen Decker for the Los Angeles Times reports that, a year after his election, President Trump remains wildly unpopular in California, and the state’s voters are split over whether members of Congress should work with him when possible, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.
Most California voters praised immigrants and rejected negative characterizations of them that have come from the president and some of his supporters. Eight in 10 said immigrants here without proper documentation were seeking work, not “a handout,” and that they improve the communities in which they live.
Those sentiments were not shared by the bulk of Republicans, a strong majority of whom remain loyal to Trump. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans said they approved of the job he was doing as president; overall only 22% of California voters gave Trump positive marks as president.
Overall, only 21% said California should cooperate completely with Trump’s immigration policies, and 19% said California should cooperate most of the time. Sentiment against cooperation was more extreme, with 33% saying the state should never cooperate and 27% saying it should not cooperate most of the time.
But the responses differed sharply by political affiliation — 86% of Republicans favored cooperation, while only 16% of Democrats did. Nonpartisan voters were in the middle, with 43% saying cooperation should occur all or most of the time.
Part of the reluctance flowed from the multiethnic makeup of California, where Latinos have become a powerful voting bloc and Asian voters, also often affected by immigration policies, are growing in prominence.
Californians of every demographic description, for example, said that immigrants here without papers had come not for benefits but for work. Even among Republicans, a majority, 57%, said immigrants sought work, while 43% said benefits were their goal. (Immigrants in the country illegally do not qualify for most paid government benefits.)
Strong majorities of Californians in many groups defended specific criticisms of immigrants in the country illegally.
Most Californians said immigrants strengthen the economy rather than take jobs that would otherwise be filled by citizens. By almost 2 to 1, Californians also said such immigrants help revitalize their communities rather than increase crime.
Republicans took exception to those views. Almost 3 in 4 said immigrants here illegally take jobs that otherwise would be filled by citizens. And 73% of Republicans said immigrants increase crime rather than serve as a positive in their communities