A new Rocky Mountain Poll of Arizona finds the state’s controversial new anti-illegal immigration law break down along clear lines of both partisanship and ethnicity.
The top-line number shows 52% in favor, to 39% opposed for Arizona’s new law to require police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they believe could be in the country illegally — a measure that has caused the state to be accused of racial profiling by many national commentators and politicians. The sample of Arizona adults has a ±3.9% margin of error.
Among whites, the law is supported by a margin of 65%-28%. Among Hispanics, though, support is at a mere 21%-69%, and among non-Hispanic minorities the law is at 29%-63%. When broken down by part, Republicans favor the law 76%-15%, Democrats oppose it 30%-58%, and independents favor it 60%-30%.
The poll was conducted between April 15-25. In addition to the simple top-line data, the pollster’s analysis finds that over the course of this relatively long running sample, the increased national scrutiny of the law may have caused support to go down:
The data also indicates that support may be shrinking modestly in the wake of negative reactions from business and economic development spokespersons expressing concerns about its potential impact on Arizona’s tourism and convention industries and on efforts to attract new industry and jobs to Arizona - concerns similar to those expressed after former Governor Evan Mecham rescinded the MLK holiday which was later approved by voters.
Also influencing the shift may be intense negative political commentary at the national and international level, characterizing Arizona as a “racist” state and efforts a to challenge the constitutionality of the law in court or to bring it to a public vote through the initiative process. Public protests by Latinos and others may also be influencing people to have second thoughts about the wisdom of the new law. In the week prior to the governor signing the measure into law, support registered at 54 percent while opposition was at 39 percent. Since April 23, when she signed the law, support has edged downward to 50 percent and opposition rose modestly to 41 percent.