Press Release: With 2014 Elections in Focus, New Polls Show Majority of Americans Will Hold Elected Officials Accountable if they Oppose Immigration Reform

Americans Nationally and in 12 Key Battleground States Are Three Times More Likely to Penalize Than to Support Opponents of Reform

71 Percent of Americans Favor Immigration Reform

With the focus of the political world now shifted toward the 2014 elections, new polls released Thursday show that a majority of voters across the country – including in 12 key battleground states – will hold elected officials accountable at the ballot box if they do not support immigration reform. More than half of Americans – 54 percent – said they were less likely to support an elected official who opposed reform, compared with just 17 percent who were more likely to support a reform opponent. In battleground states, the margin was 53-16 percent.

At the outset of the midterm elections, these new results demonstrate that a vast majority of voters nationwide – 71 percent – are in favor of immigration reform and will vote for their elected officials accordingly. The survey was sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy, Republicans for Immigration Reform, and Compete America. A summary of the poll results can be found here.

“Americans across the country want their leaders to support smart immigration reform, because they know it will drive economic growth, create jobs, and keep our nation’s future bright,” said Partnership for a New American Economy Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

“Support for immigration reform is broad and especially strong among persuadable independents that Republicans need to win elections,” said Charlie Spies, co-founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform. “There is no question that Republicans have significantly more risk in opposing immigration reform than they do in supporting it. If we want Republican majorities in the future and a shot at taking back the White House in 2016, Republicans had better find a way to support the immigration reform that likely voters are calling for.”

“This polling supports what we have always believed: that immigration reform makes sense to the American people and is good for the economy,” Scott Corley, Executive Director of Compete America. “We need more job-creators and innovators in America. The American people understand this. Now is the time for Congress to act.”

The survey also polled voters in 12 traditional battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin), which represent 156 electoral votes and were decided by an average margin of 2.35 percent in the past four presidential elections. The survey concluded that there is little risk for Republicans in these states to support reform. In these states, less than one quarter of Republicans, and less than 1-in-5 independents, say they are less likely to vote for elected officials who back immigration reform.

Highlights of the survey’s findings include:

  • More than half of Americans – 54 percent – said they were less likely to support an elected official who opposed reform, compared with just 17 percent who were more likely to support a reform opponent. In battleground states, the margin was 53-16 percent.
  • Americans overwhelmingly support immigration reform by a 71-25 percent margin – nearly 3-to-1.
  • 73 percent of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support an immigration reform plan that ensures undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. pay a penalty, learn English, pass a criminal background check, pay taxes, and wait a minimum of 13 years before they can be eligible for citizenship.

The sample size for the national survey is 900 likely voters and the margin of error is +/-3.27 percent. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automated telephone survey was conducted October 19-20, 2013 by Harper Polling. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

The sample size for each of the state surveys ranges from 501 to 870 likely voters, with the margins of error ranging from +/-3.32 percent to +/-4.35 percent.


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View the poll results:

New Hampshire
North Carolina

About the Partnership for a New American Economy

The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. The Partnership’s members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing. Partnership members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at

About Republicans for Immigration Reform 

Republicans for Immigration Reform will provide political support for Republicans who advance common-sense solutions to address the nation’s broken immigration system. These common-sense solutions must be implemented through comprehensive legislation that recognizes U.S. borders, Rule of Law, dignity of individuals, and policies that address the needs of our economy in the 21st century. Learn more at

About Compete America

The Compete America coalition is the leading advocate for reform of U.S. immigration policy for highly educated foreign professionals. Our members include corporations, universities, research institutions and trade associations. Learn more at

Press Contacts

Alex Katz, Partnership for a New American Economy:

Chris Maloney, Republicans for Immigration Reform:

Kasey Pipes, Compete America:

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…