Illegal immigration continues to grow as a major political issue, pushed mostly by conservatives. Questions 9, 10, and 11 of the recent Rasmussen Reports survey confirm that the public in North Carolina mostly agrees with the conservative position. Question 9, in particular, is evidence that it could be a winning issue.
How important is it for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration?
71% Very important
17% Somewhat important
8% Not very important
2% Not at all important
Unfortunately, for conservatives, that answer is negated by another Rasmussen question.
In terms of how you will vote for President in 2008, which of the following is the most important issue?
21% War on Terror
18% War in Iraq
Immigration, while still a big issue, is not the biggest. I would bet that nearly all of those 11% that say illegal immigration is the most important issue would not be voting for a Democratic candidate anyway. So while most North Carolinians may agree that illegal immigration is a problem and that government should do something about it, they care about something else even more; maybe the economy or the war in Iraq or Healthcare, all issues where Democrats do better.
So can illegal immigration be a winning issue? For conservatives it is a good issue to push, but it won't give them enough to win. Voters are looking for more.