The Harvard-Harris Poll in Context
The headlines starting blaring across social media and on Alt-Right websites a few days ago, announcing that 80% of voters disapprove of sanctuary cities. The Hill started the ball rolling and it trended across the Internet from there. For the Donald Trump supporters, it was vindication that Trump was doing the right thing. Here was a poll from respected Harvard proving that U.S. voters were solidly behind Donald Trump. But is it really the vindication of Trump’s political agenda that his supporters are hoping for?
Typically, the Trump supporters ignored the details of the poll that negated their argument of broad support for Trump. The supporters took what they wanted and discarded the truth about how the U.S. voters feel about their president.
The Hill posted the infographic showing that U.S. voters overwhelming are against sanctuary cities. What the Donald Trump proponents neglected to share is that 43% of those polled, support creating a pathway for undocumented immigrants in the US to legally become citizens. Twenty percent support allowing those in the country to obtain work permits.
Here are the other inconvenient details that the supporters neglected to share:
53% of those polled oppose building the wall on the U.S.-México border.
The Harvard-Harris Poll also shows that 77% of the voters support comprehensive immigration reform. Thirty-three percent argue that immigration reform allows the undocumented in the country “a fair shot at the American dream.”
Twenty-four percent support comprehensive immigration reform because it would add “hundreds of billions of dollars” to the U.S. GDP.
Only 19% of those polled were against immigration reform because it would grant amnesty to those who broke the law. Twelve percent were against immigration reform because it would take jobs away from U.S. citizens and another 12% were also against it because immigrants posed a criminal threat to the country.
The true sentiment of those polled clearly do not support the Donald Trump agenda.
Only 34% of those polled, feel that the country is on the right track. Fifty-two percent feel the country is on the wrong track.
As for Donald Trump, only 45% of those polled have a favorable view of Donald Trump. Fifty-one percent do not like him. Fifty-two percent disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing.
Clearly, U.S. voters do not support Donald Trump, or his political agenda.
When those participating in the poll answered the question of what should be Trump’s top priority, immigration and building the wall were at the bottom of the list. Thirty-five percent want jobs. Repealing the Affordable Care Act was in second at 14%. That was followed by passing an infrastructure spending bill and comprehensive tax reform.
Only 10% of those polled, favored reducing immigration into the country. While only 3% wants Donald Trump to build the wall.
When the voters were asked what they perceived was the top threat to the country, only 2% saw México as a threat.
Interestingly, those polled were evenly divided on whom they trusted the most, Donald Trump or the news media. Each had 50%.
As much as the Donald Trump apologists would like you to believe that Donald Trump’s agenda towards immigrants, Mexicans and the U.S.-México are the voters priority, the actual poll, results used by them, clearly shows that U.S. voters do not support Trump’s agenda for the wall or destroying the U.S.-México relationship.
About the Harvard-Harris Poll (From Harvard’s Website)
The survey was conducted online by the Harris Poll within the United States between February 11-13, 2017 among 2,290 adults aged 18+, including 2,148 registered voters. The theoretical margin of error is +/- 2%.
The poll is supervised by Mark Penn and Professor Stephen Ansolabehere as co-directors. Mark Penn has 40 years of polling experience and Stephen Ansolabehere has 25 years experience conducting survey research and experimental research in the field of political science. They both teach polling courses at Harvard.
Harris Insights and Analytics conducts the poll based on online methodologies they have been using for more than a decade and the results are donated to the Harvard Center for American Political Studies.
The results are represented as the results of the questions asked according to The Harris Poll methodology.