Immigration Was Major Factor in Florida Midterm Elections
Voters in Florida’s 2022 midterm elections overwhelmingly support stronger border enforcement and immigration was an important factor in deciding their votes for Congress.
A new telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA finds that 64% of Florida midterm voters believe the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays.
Only 10% say the government is doing too much immigration enforcement, while 18% rate the current level of action as about right. Another 11% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Florida midterm voters say immigration was one of the top three issues in deciding who to choose as their district's U.S. Representative, including 17% who say immigration was the No. 1 issue for them.
Importantly, Hispanic voters in Florida strongly support stricter immigration enforcement. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Hispanics who voted in the 2022 midterm election think the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. That compares to 65% of whites, 51% of black voters and 60% of other minorities. Nationwide, 57% of Hispanic 2022 midterm voters believe the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays.
"Hispanics citizens throughout the U.S. feel strongly that the Biden Administration is neglecting border security," said NumbersUSA CEO James Massa. “These Florida exit poll numbers show that Florida's Hispanics feel even stronger than their counterparts elsewhere. … The message is very clear. Hispanic voters are serious about enforcing immigration laws."
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 1,224 Florida 2022 midterm voters was conducted on November 8-9, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Among Florida midterm voters who voted for Republican congressional candidates, 82% say immigration was one of the top three issues in deciding their choice, including 18% who say immigration was the No. 1 issue for them.
In addition to supporting stronger enforcement against illegal immigration, by a 12-point margin, more Florida voters generally favor policies that reduce levels of legal immigration (49%) over policies that increase legal immigration into the U.S. (37%). Another 14% are not sure.This preference for reducing legal immigration is even clearer when it comes to specific numbers.
Legal immigration to the United States has averaged around a million annually in recent years. Only 14% of Florida 2022 midterm voters want to increase the number of new immigrants over one million, and another nine percent (9%) are comfortable with one million newcomers each year. Seventy-nine percent (79%), however, believe the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants annually, with 54% who say it should be fewer than 500,000, including 35% who want fewer than 250,000 new immigrants yearly.
Significantly, even a majority (57%) of Florida Democrats would prefer to reduce legal immigration below 750,000 a year, as would 80% of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
Among other findings of the Rasmussen Reports/NumbersUSA survey:
– Seventy-two percent (72%) of Florida midterm voters think that, in trying to control illegal immigration, the government should mandate that all employers use the federal electronic E-Verify system to help ensure that they hire only legal workers for U.S. jobs. Mandating use of E-Verify for all employers is supported by majorities of every political and racial category – 82% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats and unaffiliated voters, 77% of whites, 68% of black voters, 61% of Hispanics and 69% of other minorities.
– Sixty-nine percent (69%) of 2022 Florida midterm voters believe that, in trying to control illegal immigration, it is important to greatly increase the physical barriers such as walls and fencing on the U.S. border with Mexico, including 51% who say strengthing border barriers is Very Important. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans, 49% of Democrats and 70% of voters not affiliated with either major party say increasing physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border is at least somewhat important, as do majorities of every racial category, including 66% of Hispanics.
– By a four-point margin, more Florida midterm voters oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants than support it. Forty-seven percent (47%) oppose giving lifetime work permits to most of the estimated 12 million illegal residents of all ages who currently reside in the United States, with 30% who Strongly Oppose it. Forty-three percent (43%) are in favor of amnesty, including 1% who Strongly Favor it. Another 10% are not sure. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans, 25% of Democrats and 49% of unaffiliated voters oppose amnesty, while 63% of Democrats, 28% of Republicans and 41% of unaffiliated voters favor it.
– Only 28% of Florida midterm voters rate President Joe Biden’s administration either good (18%) or excellent (10%) on handling the issue of illegal immigration. Seventeen percent (17%) give the Biden administration a fair rating on the issue, while 52% say the administration has done a poor job of handling illegal immigration.
– Florida voters overwhelmingly favor ending so-called “chain migration.” Only 28% favor current U.S. immigration policy which allows documented immigrants to bring in not just their spouse and children but also eventually other adult relatives that can include extended family and their spouses’ families. Sixty-four percent (62%) of Florida midterm voters are opposed to current policy and think documented immigrants should be able to bring only their spouse and children with them. Ten percent (10%) are not sure.
President Biden’s strongest supporters are most favorable to granting amnesty for illegal immigrants. Among Florida midterm voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 69% favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the estimated 12 million illegal residents who currently reside in the United States. By contrast, among those who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, 74% are opposed to granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to the public as well as to Platinum Members.
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The survey of 1,224 Florida 2022 midterm voters was conducted on November 8-9, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA from randomly sourced and anonymous online panel and landline phone respondents. The poll was demographically weighted with a combination of gender, race and age and then normalized using respondents’ vote in the 2022 gubernatorial election. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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