New Colorado Poll and GOTV Efforts Show the Backlash to the GOP Immigration Playbook

View the exit poll finding

A recording of the call is available here

COLORADO - President Trump made immigration the focal point of the midterms and made clear that he believed “it is going to be an election about the caravan.” Today, the Immigration Hub released a new poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, of Colorado voters, revealing voter backlash against President Trump and Republican candidates’ immigration rhetoric and policies.

Similar to voters across the nation, the survey found that overwhelmingly the majority of Colorado voters were not galvanized or convinced by anti-immigrant rhetoric. In fact, Trump’s immigration playbook, echoed by Walker Stapleton and GOP state legislative candidates, failed to work in favor of Republicans. Jared Polis, a pro-immigrant candidate, had an impressive showing, exceeding Hillary Clinton's 2016 margins.

“New polling we conducted in the immediate aftermath of the election shows that Trump’s anti-immigrant focus backfired with voters in Colorado,” stated Nick Gourevitch, Partner at Global Strategy Group. “Voters found that Republican candidate alignment with Trump on immigration was more of a reason to vote against those candidates than to vote for them, including with politically important groups like Independents in Colorado.”

The Immigration Hub also commissioned Change Research to conduct an additional online survey of 525 likely voters in Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District. The survey found that majority of CD-6 voters rejected President Trump’s recent political ploys on immigration, including his anti-immigrant ad centered on the migrant caravan. In fact, 62 percent of women and 71 percent of Hispanics were less likely to support Trump’s immigration policies after watching his caravan ad. (View the rest of the results here.)

“Trump made this election about immigration and the caravan, and it backfired for the Republican Party,” adds Tyler Moran, Director of the Immigration Hub. “Stapleton doubled down on sanctuary cities in the primary, and had a ‘complete and total’ endorsement from Trump.  Coffman tried to play up his support for Dreamers and opposition to family separation, but in the end his record spoke for itself: he voted with Trump ninety six percent of the time. The GOP should expect oversight and a progressive legislative agenda in 2019, including a solution for Dreamers and TPS-holders.  And if they want to win elections in the future, they should listen to voters who want bipartisan solutions and not use scare tactics that divide and distract the electorate.”

Key Findings from the Exit Poll

This survey conducted by Global Strategy Group polled a base sample of 600 Colorado voters statewide. Additional over-samples were conducted in Jefferson County, to reach 208 voters in total in the county, and in the 6th Congressional District, to reach 191 total voters in the district.

  • In both the governor’s race and CD-06, voters favored Democratic candidates’ stances on immigration. Statewide voters agreed more with Jared Polis than Walker Stapleton on immigration by a 42% to 37% margin, and CD-06 voters agreed more with Jason Crow than Mike Coffman on the issue by a 47% to 41% margin.

  • Across Colorado, 57% of voters said that Trump and the GOP are moving further away from their political views on immigration. In fact, Colorado voters, including 55% of statewide voters and 60% of independents, saw the migrant caravan issue as “playing politics” and want less division and more problem-solving

  • Anti-immigrant scapegoating is out of step with the way most Coloradans view immigrants – as contributors to the state’s growth and success: 54% of overall Colorado voters believe that Colorado should be a welcoming  place for immigrants

  • 64% of voters statewide said when it comes to immigration, the top priority should be to stop dividing people and to work on bipartisan solutions to fix the country’s immigration system.

  • Stapleton’s Trumpian immigration positions were a net negative, overall and among independent voters: 52% statewide and 58% of independents believed that Stapleton’s similarities to Trump on immigration were a reason to vote against him.

View the full presentation of results.

Below are quotes from the speakers on our call:

Denise Maes, Public Policy Director, ACLU-CO said, “The poll results confirm what we saw and heard throughout the 2018 campaign. Colorado voters, particularly independents, want leadership that rejects the divisive rhetoric and destructive policies of the Trump administration, including Trump’s demands for increased state and local resources going to federal immigration enforcement. Governor-elect Polis and the state legislature should follow the will of Colorado voters and pursue immigration policies that protect our state and the rights of all  Coloradans from the Trump administration’s destructive deportation agenda.”

Nicole Melaku, Executive Director, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition said,  “The voters of Colorado have spoken. An agenda of hate and reckless discrimination toward immigrants was a losing message. In the last week's of the election, thousands of mailers were sent out to crucial battleground districts attacking Democratic candidates for voting for or potentially supporting bills that protect immigrant families.  Groups like Citizens for Secure Borders, received $169,000 in donations to pump into attack advertisements against House candidates such as Rochelle Galindo and Kerry Tipper for their support for Sanctuary Cities. Rather than turn against them, Colorado voters stood behind Candidates that stood with the immigrant community, even in rural communities.”


The Immigration Hub is a national organization dedicated to providing strategic support to a broad spectrum of organizations seeking to enact progressive immigration policies at the federal and state level.