Monday, 22 July 2024 21:54

Majority of Americans Back Obama on Cuba, Immigration — WSJ/NBC Poll

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

President Barack Obama has broad popular support for his plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and grant legal status to four million more undocumented immigrants, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out Tuesday.

Mr. Obama’s sunny numbers on Cuba and immigration come as his approval rating in the WSJ/NBC poll, 46%, is at its highest point since October 2013, before the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Mr. Obama’s economic approval rating, 49%, is above water for the first time since January 2013.

One area where the administration appears to be at odds with the American public: its reluctance to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

On Cuba, 60% of those polled said they approve of Mr. Obama’s announcement to restore diplomatic relations with Havana. The high approval ratings for Mr. Obama’s decision span regional, age and racial demographics, but is strongest among the president’s base.

The Cuba approval numbers are highest among the young (66% of those 18 to 34 years old), African-American and Hispanic voters (65% each) and people who live in the northeast (68%) and the west (66%).

Even groups not typically friendly to the president favor restoring ties with Cuba. People at least 65 years old (53%), white voters (58%) and those in the South (51%) back the move. Even 41% of Republicans said they are on board.

Mr. Obama has 52% support for his November executive action granting temporary legal status to 4 million undocumented immigrants, but here Americans are divided along in more typical political ways.

Most women polled favor the immigration action while men disapprove. Vast majorities of blacks (82%) and Hispanics (73%) favor the decision while most whites (52%) disapprove. Two-thirds of people aged 18 to 34 approve of the immigration action, while only 39% of those at least 65 years old do.

On another contentious issue — the Keystone XL pipeline — 41% are in favor of building the project, compared with just 20% against it. Mr. Obama has said he would veto lawmakers’ legislation to approve the project ahead of an expected State Department decision.

Still, 37% said they don’t know enough about the proposal to have an opinion.

Support for the project is strongest among Republicans (80%), especially people who describe themselves as followers of the tea party (80%). While environmentalists have made sought to make opposition to building the pipeline a touchstone issue, conservatives have been more successful convincing their followers it is important. While 80% of tea party followers said they support building Keystone, 43% of Democrats and 36% of self-described liberals said they don’t have an opinion on it.

The poll of 800 adults was conducted from Jan. 14 to Jan. 17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

Broad Support for Restoring Diplomatic Ties With Cuba

On Cuba, 60% of those polled said they approve of President Obama’s announcement to restore diplomatic relations with Havana. The high marks for the move span regional, age and racial demographics, but are strongest among the president’s base.

 

The Wall Street Journal

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