November 25, 2014 - American Voters Split On Obama's Immigration Move, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; President's Approval Near All-Time Low Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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American voters are divided on whether President Barack Obama should take action to address the immigration issue if Congress fails to act, as 45 percent say the president should issue an executive order while 48 percent say he should not, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

At the same time, support for immigrants is at its lowest level ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll. Offered three choices on what to do about illegal immigrants:
  • 48 percent of American voters say they should be allowed to stay, with a path to citizenship, down from 57 percent November 13, 2013, and the lowest this number ever has been;
  • 11 percent say immigrants should be allowed to stay, but not be allowed to apply for citizenship, consistent with previous surveys;
  • 35 percent say illegal immigrants should be required to leave the U.S., up from 26 percent 12 months ago and higher than this number ever has been.
There is a wide gender gap on Obama's action, as women support it 50 - 39 percent, while men oppose it 57 - 39 percent. Support is 59 - 33 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old, but drops among older voters, with voters over 65 years old opposed 53 - 36 percent.

Democrats support Obama's immigration move 74 - 18 percent, with opposition at 75 - 20 percent among Republicans and 51 - 40 percent among independent voters.

"While President Barack Obama's popularity wallows, support for immigrants wanes as Americans look at immigration reform with ambivalence," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

American voters oppose 68 - 25 percent Congress shutting down "major activities of the federal government" as a way to block Obama's immigration move.

Only 44 percent of Republicans support a shutdown, with 47 percent opposed.

"Americans seem divided on immigration, but they agree on one thing: They don't want a government shutdown over President Obama's action on immigration," Malloy added.

President's Approval Rating

American voters give Obama a negative 39 - 54 percent approval rating, close to his lowest-ever 38 - 57 percent score in a December 10, 2013, Quinnipiac University poll.

Democrats and voters under 30 years old are the only party, gender or age groups who approve of the president.

Only 42 percent of American voters trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress to do what is best for the nation, while 47 percent trust Republicans more.

It's good for the country that Republicans have taken over control of the U.S. Senate, voters say 51 - 37 percent, but 67 percent of voters expect more gridlock in the next two years. Gridlock will be Obama's fault, 44 percent of voters say, as 42 percent would blame Republicans.

"American voters are happy the Republicans have the ball, but don't feel confident there will be a lot of scoring on the deal-making front," Malloy said.

"If that's the case, the numbers say blame will fall on Obama as much as Republicans.

"With the exception of voters born after 1985, Obama's approval is deep under water."

Ransom for Hostages

The U.S. should never pay ransom to terrorists who are holding American hostages, voters say 70 - 21 percent, with support among all listed groups, including 77 - 16 percent among voters in military households. American voters agree 83 - 13 percent that paying ransom to terrorists encourages more hostage taking.

Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill should have remained quiet about his involvement in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, voters say 69 - 19 percent, but only 10 percent of voters, including 16 percent of voters in military households, say he should be prosecuted.

From November 18 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,623 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              39%     6%    78%    34%    32%    45%    56%    41%    33%    33%
Disapprove           54     93     15     54     60     48     30     53     62     59
DK/NA                 8      1      7     11      8      8     14      6      6      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President? (* High also 59% Mar 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Jul 02  Apr 02  Jan 22  Jan 08  Jun 04  Dec 10
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2014    2009*   2013
 
Approve              39      40      42      40      41      59      38
Disapprove           54      53      50      54      53      31      57
DK/NA                 8       7       8       6       7      10       6
 
 
6. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Very satisfied        2%     1%     3%     3%     2%     3%     5%     2%     3%     1%
Smwht satisfied      23      7     41     22     23     24     30     25     20     22
Smwht dissatisfied   32     29     34     33     30     34     41     36     28     27
Very dissatisfied    42     62     21     43     45     39     25     36     49     50
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Jul 08  Apr 02  Jan 22  Jan 08  Dec 11  Nov 13
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2014    2001    2008
 
Very satisfied        2       2       2       2       1      21       2
Smwht satisfied      23      24      24      22      24      47      14
Smwht dissatisfied   32      31      33      32      31      19      38
Very dissatisfied    42      43      40      43      43      10      44
DK/NA                 1       -       1       1       1       3       2
 
 
30. Who do you trust more to make decisions that are good for the country, President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Obama                42%     4%    85%    42%    35%    48%    60%    42%    37%    36%
Reps in Congress     47     90      8     41     53     41     26     47     52     52
DK/NA                12      6      8     17     12     12     13     12     11     12
 
 
31. Do you think it is good for the country or bad for the country that the Republicans have taken over control of the United States Senate from the Democrats?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Good                 51%    96%     9%    49%    59%    44%    36%    53%    54%    54%
Bad                  37      3     79     33     30     44     52     37     36     31
DK/NA                12      2     12     18     10     13     12     10     11     15
 
 
32. Do you believe there will be more gridlock or less gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
More                 67%    64%    72%    66%    67%    68%    63%    72%    68%    62%
Less                 19     24     15     20     22     17     20     21     19     18
SAME(VOL)             4      3      4      4      4      3      2      3      5      5
DK/NA                10      9      9      9      6     12     15      5      7     16
 
 
33. If there is continued gridlock in Washington, who do you believe will be to blame, President Obama or Republicans in Congress?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Obama                44%    77%    18%    39%    47%    42%    32%    42%    48%    48%
Reps in Congress     42     11     74     42     39     44     55     42     39     36
DK/NA                14     12      7     19     14     15     13     16     13     16
 
 
34. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Excellent             2%     1%     4%     1%     2%     2%     2%     1%     3%     2%
Good                 31     15     48     32     32     30     39     35     27     27
Not so good          38     45     31     39     38     39     38     37     37     41
Poor                 28     39     15     28     28     28     22     25     33     28
DK/NA                 1      1      2      -      1      1      -      2      1      1
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                             EXLNT+GOOD....
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Jul 02  Apr 02  Jan 22  Dec 10  Dec 10  Mar 04
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2013    2003    2009
 
Excellent             2       1       -       1       -       3       -
Good                 31      22      26      21      20      37       3
Not so good          38      43      44      44      44      42      28
Poor                 28      34      30      33      36      16      68
DK/NA                 1       -       -       1       1       1       -
 
 
35. Do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Better               34%    17%    52%    36%    36%    31%    43%    34%    33%    28%
Worse                22     34     10     21     20     24     11     18     29     25
The same             43     48     37     42     43     43     46     47     37     45
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      -      1      1      2
 
TREND: Do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same? (* Low also 11% Sep 2011)
                                                             BETTER........
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Jul 02  Apr 02  Jan 22  Dec 10  Jan 18  Oct 06
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2013    2011    2011*
 
Better               34      26      29      28      29      36      11
Worse                22      31      29      26      28      20      44
The same             43      43      42      44      42      43      44
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       2       1
 
 
38. Do you support or oppose the health care law passed by Barack Obama and Congress in 2010?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              40%     8%    77%    38%    34%    46%    57%    39%    38%    33%
Oppose               54     89     16     54     62     46     38     56     56     57
DK/NA                 6      2      7      8      4      9      4      5      6     10
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose the health care law passed by Barack Obama and Congress in 2010?
                                                             SUPPORT.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Jul 02  Apr 02  Jan 22  Jan 08  Oct 01  Jan 22
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2014    2013    2014
 
Support              40      43      41      38      40      45      38
Oppose               54      55      55      56      56      47      56
DK/NA                 6       2       5       7       4       8       7
 
 
39. Do you think Congress should try to repeal the health care law, or should they let it stand?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Should repeal it     48%    82%    12%    48%    54%    42%    35%    50%    49%    50%
Should let it stand  46     14     82     45     40     50     64     47     44     37
DK/NA                 6      4      6      8      5      8      1      3      7     13
 
TREND: Do you think Congress should try to repeal the health care law, or should they let it stand?
                     Nov 25  Jul 12  Apr 20  Feb 23  Nov 23  May 04  Jan 18
                     2014    2012    2012    2012    2011    2011    2011
                     
Should repeal it     48      49      51      52      47      44      48
Should let it stand  46      43      38      39      41      45      43
DK/NA                 6       8      11      10      12      11       8
 
 
40. Do you think Congress will try to repeal the health care law or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  75%    68%    83%    74%    74%    75%    82%    71%    77%    71%
No                   17     21     11     20     21     13     15     21     16     14
DK/NA                 8     11      6      6      5     12      3      7      7     15
 
 
41. If Congress tries to repeal the health care law, do you think it will be successful or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  30%    39%    24%    27%    31%    29%    32%    32%    32%    24%
No                   56     51     62     58     59     54     53     62     55     52
DK/NA                14     10     14     15     10     17     14      6     14     24
 
 
42. Do you think the United States military should have combat troops on the ground in Iraq or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Should           37%    53%    24%    30%    44%    31%    33%    37%    40%    36%
No                   55     39     68     61     49     60     60     58     53     48
DK/NA                 8      7      8      9      7     10      7      5      7     16
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes/Should           45%
No                   49
DK/NA                 7
 
 
43. Do you believe the international coalition put together by the White House to defeat ISIS is working or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  19%    13%    29%    16%    21%    17%    15%    24%    19%    14%
No                   61     78     41     64     64     58     53     60     65     61
DK/NA                21     10     29     19     16     25     33     17     16     25
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes                  18%
No                   63
DK/NA                19
 
 
44. Do you think there are circumstances when the United States government should pay ransom to international terrorists who are holding American hostages, or should the United States government never pay ransom to terrorists under any circumstances?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Should pay       21%    14%    31%    17%    16%    25%    41%    22%    14%    16%
No/Never pay         70     80     56     74     80     61     46     71     77     72
DK/NA                10      5     13      9      4     14     14      7      8     13
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes/Should pay       16%
No/Never pay         77
DK/NA                 7
 
 
45. Some people say the United States should not pay ransom to terrorists because it encourages more hostage taking. Do you agree or disagree?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Agree                83%    89%    76%    84%    87%    79%    69%    84%    88%    83%
Disagree             13      8     20     11     12     14     23     14      8     12
DK/NA                 4      3      4      5      2      7      9      2      4      6
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Agree                88%
Disagree              9
DK/NA                 2
 
 
46. Do you think that Robert O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, should have publicly disclosed his involvement or do you think he should have remained quiet about the mission?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Disclosed        19%    25%    13%    19%    21%    18%    19%    21%    18%    18%
No/Remained quiet    69     66     77     69     69     70     63     70     73     67
DK/NA                12     10     10     12     10     13     18      9      9     15
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes/Disclosed        20%
No/Remained quiet    71
DK/NA                 9
 
 
47. Do you think Robert O'Neill should be prosecuted for publicly disclosing that he killed Bin Laden or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  10%     6%    12%    10%    10%     9%     9%    11%    10%     7%
No                   81     88     76     80     82     80     87     81     81     78
DK/NA                 9      6     12     10      8     11      3      8      9     15
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Yes                  16%
No                   75
DK/NA                 9
 
 
48. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Legal all cases      23%    15%    37%    20%    21%    25%    34%    25%    23%    16%
Legal most cases     33     25     36     42     32     35     36     33     33     34
Illegal most cases   24     39     11     21     26     22     15     24     26     25
Illegal all cases    12     16      8      8     12     12     13     11     11     13
DK/NA                 8      6      8      8      9      7      3      6      7     13
 
TREND: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
                                                             COMBINED LEGAL
                                                             ALL & MOST CASES
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Oct 04  Aug 02  Feb 07  Feb 23  Aug 02  Apr 21
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2012    2013    2010
 
Legal all cases      23      20      20      24      22      20      18
Legal most cases     33      36      38      32      33      38      33
Illegal most cases   24      23      25      25      25      25      27
Illegal all cases    12      14      12      14      14      12      16
DK/NA                 8       7       5       6       6       5       6
 
 
49. As you may know, in 2013 the House of Representatives approved legislation that would ban virtually all abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape and incest that are reported to authorities. Would you support or oppose such legislation?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              60%    76%    46%    56%    61%    59%    57%    61%    63%    58%
Oppose               33     20     47     36     32     35     38     35     30     32
DK/NA                 7      4      7      8      7      6      5      5      6     10
 
 
50. Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States? A) They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. B) They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. C) They should be required to leave the U.S.
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
A) Stay/Citizenship  48%    27%    67%    53%    44%    51%    64%    47%    47%    42%
B) Stay/Not citizen  11     15     11      8     12     11     11     14     10     10
C) Not stay          35     54     17     31     39     31     23     35     38     38
DK/NA                 6      5      5      7      4      7      3      4      6     10
 
TREND: Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States? A) They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. B) They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. C) They should be required to leave the U.S.
                                                             STAY/CITIZENSHIP
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 25  Nov 13  Jul 12  May 31  May 02  Apr 04  Nov 25
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2013    2014
 
A)Stay/Citizenship   48      57      54      54      52      59      48
B)Stay/Not citizen   11      12      12      12      11      11      11
C)Not stay           35      26      28      29      30      25      35
DK/NA                 6       4       6       5       6       5       6
 
 
51. If Congress does not act to address the immigration issue, do you think Barack Obama should or should not take action using executive orders?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Should           45%    20%    74%    40%    39%    50%    59%    48%    41%    36%
No/Should not        48     75     18     51     57     39     33     45     54     53
DK/NA                 8      5      8      9      4     11      8      7      5     11
 
 
52. Do you support or oppose Congress shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop President Obama from using executive orders to address the immigration issue?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Support              25%    44%     6%    22%    33%    17%    21%    24%    29%    22%
Oppose               68     47     89     71     62     72     70     71     64     66
DK/NA                 8      9      5      7      5     10      9      5      7     12
 
 

Demographic Summary