Abortion, Immigration Take Front Seat in New Poll

Photo credit: Tom Arthur via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Tom Arthur via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A new CNN/ORC poll looked at voters’ views on immigration, gun rights and abortion, and the results are surprising:  The number of voters naming these issues as important has soared since 2011:

In June 2011, 22% of voters called gun policy an “extremely important” issue in their vote for president, that’s risen 20 points since to 42%. Likewise, 29% called illegal immigration a top issue in June 2011, that’s up 10 points to 39%, while the share calling abortion an extremely important issue is up 7 points to 27%. Here’s a look at where the public stands on each.

Here’s a closer look at how voters view these issues heading into the 2016 elections:

Abortion: Don’t want shutdown, but want major abortion restrictions

When asked about whether it was more important to avoid a government shutdown or defund Planned Parenthood, 71 percent of voters want to keep the government open.  In another question, though, CNN showed heavy support for abortion restrictions, with 58 percent saying it should be legal in “only a few circumstances” or “not at all.”  This is versus just 39 percent for the “any or most” circumstances crowd.

Immigration: Support legal status, but build a fence

When asked about their top priority for immigration reform, voters gave the edge to developing a legal status plan to those already here (46 percent) over developing a plan to stop future illegal entries (39 percent).  Fifty percent, however, said securing the border should be the second most important priority.  Also notable is that a majority of voters support building a fence along the border with Mexico, 52 percent to 47 percent.

Gun Laws: Just right

The poll also showed that support for more restrictive gun laws has plummeted, from 56 percent after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., to about 41 percent today.  The other 59 percent say gun laws are “about right” or too restrictive.

The poll can be read in its entirety here.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.