President Barack Obama's high-profile shift on immigration last week—announcing plans to grant temporary legal status to as many as 800,000 undocumented people brought to American soil as children—has the overwhelming support of likely voters in a new Bloomberg poll released Tuesday.
Sixty-four percent of them—and 66 percent of independents, the frequently up-for-grabs voters thought to decide elections—support the president's decision. The White House has forcefully (and rather implausibly) denied that Obama sought political gain from his announcement. But as recently as March 2011, he had said publicly that he lacked the power to halt such deportations.
The Bloomberg survey found that just 30 percent of likely voters disagreed with the president's plan. Fifty-six percent of likely Republican voters opposed it, while 86 percent of Democrats supported it. Just 26 percent of independents sided with the Republican majority in the poll.
The results surely cheered Obama's re-election campaign, which has been working to reassemble the victorious coalition that powered his history-making 2008 win—but it faces an uphill fight in the face of deep pessimism about the economy.
The poll, which had an error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, also showed that immigration was the top issue of just 4 percent of voters—the sputtering recovery tops that list in every survey of public opinion.Read More »from Obama immigration shift a hit with voters, says new poll