Strong economic growth and increased optimism among minorities are expected to give Republicans a controlling majority in Congress this year and the reelection of President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a newly released poll.
Focusing on the minorities only, the Zogby Analytics online poll, which collected data from early June, showed that these Americans have a sizable amount of optimism for the economy over the next four years.
Some 43 percent of Hispanics felt the economy will be excellent (12 percent) or good (31 percent). Among Asians, 39 percent believed so along with about 25 percent of blacks. Around a third on average believe the economy will be fair, while around a quarter said they believe it will be poor.
All three groups lean strongly Democrat and their approval of Trump lingers around 10 percent for blacks, 20 percent for Hispanics, and 30 percent for Asians.
“Even though President Trump receives little support from these groups, things might be going just good enough economically that he can scrape enough support from these groups, so that Republicans can retain control of Congress and Trump gets reelected in 2020,” the pollster noted.
Including two special elections, there will be 35 Senate seats up for grabs come Election Day on Nov. 6. Of those, 23 are currently held by Democrats and two by independents—Bernie Sanders and Angus King, who are allied with Democrats. Republicans hold eight seats.
In addition, voters will decide on all 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives, where Republicans currently hold 235 seats versus the Democrats’ 193.
The economy has been beating expectations and regularly breaking records for over a year, especially in recent months. Unemployment dropped to 3.8 percent in May, the lowest level since 1969, while job openings for April reached 6.7 million, more than one for each person considered unemployed.
Trump ran on a core promise of reviving the economy, and the results are providing momentum for Republicans. But they need to get their message across on other issues, especially immigration.
Americans consider immigration one of the most important issues the country faces, according to a recent Harvard-Harrison poll.
Trump has been vocal on stopping illegal immigration and strictly enforcing immigration laws, which is a majority view among minority voters, the poll showed. More than half of black and Hispanic voters believed current border security is inadequate and immigration law enforcement needs to be stricter, rather than looser.
About 70 percent of both groups also prefer secure borders to “basically open borders.” The poll didn’t provide data for Asian voters.
One of the poll questions spelled out the current Republican proposal for immigration reform as “a congressional deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.–Mexico border.”
About two-thirds of black and Hispanic respondents favored the plan.
On some issues, however, the groups split. Over half of black voters supported “a combination of physical and electronic barriers across the U.S.–Mexico border,” while slightly less then half of Hispanics did.
On the other hand, a majority of Hispanics believed that those crossing illegally should be sent home, even if they are parents with children. A majority of black voters would let them stay.
Some prominent Democrats, such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have recently called for the abolition of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
ICE is responsible for capturing, detaining, and deporting illegal aliens in the interior of the country. It’s also responsible for investigating national security issues such as human trafficking, drug and arms trafficking, and transnational gangs.
Americans have strongly supported maintaining ICE, with 69 percent against disbanding, including 64 percent of black voters, the poll showed. Hispanic voters, however, were split 50-50 on the issue.
Trump welcomed Democrats to run with the idea of nixing ICE, predicting it will cost them elections.
“That’s going to be their platform. Open borders, which equals crime. I think they’ll never win another election so I’m actually quite happy about it,” he said on July 1.
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