New Polling Outlines Democrats’ Path to Victory on Immigration in 2020 with Swing and Democratic Voters 

Voters rejected Trump's Immigration Gambit in the 2018 Midterms. A Strong Majority of Voters Continues to Reject Trump's Playbook and Wants Solutions

WASHINGTON - As President Trump seeks to rile up his base by doubling down on draconian anti-immigrant policies, new polling shows that a clear majority of Americans – including swing and Democratic primary voters – strongly support common-sense and humane immigration solutions over fear-mongering and the wall. The findings underscore the opportunity for Democrats to successfully win the debate on immigration by leading with solutions that clearly contrast Trump's approach and are broadly appealing to both general election and Democratic primary voters.

The new poll, conducted among both voters in twelve 2020 battleground states and among Democratic primary voters nationwide by Global Strategy Group and commissioned by the Immigration Hub, finds that President Trump is vulnerable on immigration.  A majority (52%) of voters in swing states disapprove of his job on immigration, a number nearly identical to his overall job rating (53% disapprove).  And voters in swing states resoundingly reject his immigration policies -- 75% support ending the policy of separating parents from their children at the border.  

“New polling we conducted shows a clear opportunity for Democrats on immigration – that Trump is vulnerable on the issue as voters are looking for a new approach,” stated Nick Gourevitch of Global Strategy Group. “But for Democrats to take advantage with both primary and general election audiences, they must put forward their own approach centering on solutions to address the country’s immigration problems in both a humane and realistic way.” 

The growing rejection is consistent with findings in 2018 where the majority of voters in swing states opposed Trump’s rhetoric on the caravan and most candidates echoing the president’s strategy on immigration lost their races. The new poll also finds that voters overwhelmingly support solutions embraced by Democrats, including creating a way for undocumented immigrants to become citizens and reforming the legal immigration system.  However, the poll also highlights that Democrats’ support for these positions is not well understood by the public.  

An Opportunity for Democrats

The findings in the poll demonstrate that solutions rise to the top of the public’s immigration priorities for both general election and Democratic primary voters, with most voters agreeing that the current system requires major changes. In fact, 81% of voters believe the country’s current immigration system is not working right now and an even larger majority want to hear solutions: 91% of general election voters believe Democrats should “be focused on promoting solutions for our immigration system.”

“This poll demonstrates that voters are craving solutions on immigration,” adds Tyler Moran, Director of the Immigration Hub. “While Trump has been railing on the wall and raids and separating families - Democrats have been working on policy proposals that the public supports.  It is important that candidates now lean-in on these solutions so the public connects them with Democratic candidate’s vision for an immigration system that aligns with American values.”

2020 and Immigration

In stark contrast with the president’s policies, the survey found that both swing and Democratic primary voters support: 

  • reforming the immigration system,   

  • reducing wait times for legal immigration and creating a path to citizenship,

  • smarter border security instead of a wall,

  • an efficient and fair asylum process instead of separating families, and

  • greater accountability at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

“The vast majority of Americans (more than 80%) want Congress to create a way for hard-working undocumented immigrants living, working, and paying taxes in the U.S. to earn citizenship,” notes Marshall Fitz, Managing Director of Immigration at Emerson Collective. “These findings reinforce the fact that voters want their leaders to deliver common sense solutions by adopting humane policies that unify the country around core American values. Unfortunately, President Trump’s approach has been to divide voters on the issue in a way that prevents progress on solutions that Americans desperately want.”

Overall, the poll stresses the need for Democrats to clearly define their positions and contrast that problem-solving approach with President Trump’s efforts to divide America and demonize immigrants. As Democratic presidential candidates hit the stage and the trail with the backdrop of an intensifying refugee and humanitarian crisis at the border, Democrats have the opportunity to use the bully pulpit to galvanize key voting blocs by leaning in on common sense immigration solutions.


The Immigration Hub is a national organization dedicated to advancing fair and just immigration policies through strategic leadership, innovative communications strategies, legislative advocacy and collaborative partnerships.