This past week, an ABC News/Washington Post survey revealed that, if the election took place again today, Donald Trump would still win, and possibly by a wider margin. Many in the mainstream media, including ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, expressed disbelief by these results. But it shouldn’t take them by surprise. If members of the media are truly surprised, it’s because they are deceived by the biased language of many polls.
Polling on immigration exemplifies an inherent bias that produces skewed results. Over the past few weeks, media outlets have touted the idea that Trump’s immigration policies counter the will of the people because “support for immigration is at an all-time high.” The Wall Street Journal went so far as to conclude that their latest poll on immigration “suggests backlash to Trump administration policies.” A number of other news agencies are also quick to note that their polls apparently signal opposition to Trump’s policies.
However, if you take time to investigate the wording of these polls, a different picture becomes obvious. The same Wall Street Journal poll, which reports that 60 percent of likely voters support immigration, is tailor-made for a pro-immigration response. The wording specifically required that respondents decide if immigration as a whole “generally helps” or “generally hurts” the nation. As could be predicted, the survey harvested a generally positive view on immigration. Similarly, when Gallup asked voters “on the whole, do you think immigration is a good or bad thing for this country?” during this past election cycle, a whopping 72 percent cited immigration as a good thing.
Wording poll questions like this leaves likely voters without the ability to expound on their opinions of the American immigration system. If they want to voice displeasure with the current system, they are required to condemn immigration as a whole, which is unfair and illogical.
Surveys – mainly non-mainstream media polls – that are willing to ask specific questions related to immigration, paint a different picture. While many news organizations reported on the Gallup poll question signaling support for immigration as an overall practice, most ignored a more specific question in the same poll that revealed a vast majority of voters (76 percent) want to reduce immigration levels or leave them the same. In addition, a recent Rasmussen poll that shows only 15 percent of voters oppose Trump’s recent Executive Order that includes reforming the H-1B worker program.
Very few Americans believe that immigration, as a practice, is evil and/or entirely without benefit. Neither does President Trump. What Americans do oppose, however, is a broken and out of control immigration system that favors those who violate or abuse the law. Honest surveys show this. However, even if the mainstream media avoids reporting on them, the American people still back President Trump’s efforts to enact meaningful immigration reform that serves the best interests of American citizens.