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CNN poll: 8 in 10 back DACA, supporters hold Trump, GOP responsible for not extending program

Support for continuing the DACA program remains high and bipartisan, according to a new CNN poll conducted by ...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:47 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 1:47 PM

Support for continuing the DACA program remains high and bipartisan, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, and about six in 10 Americans say it is likely that it will wind up continuing.

The poll, conducted before the Supreme Court declined Monday to immediately consider a case on the program, found that those who back continuing the program hold President Donald Trump (33%) and the Republicans in Congress (31%) responsible for it not yet having been extended more than they do the Democrats in Congress (17%).

A broad majority, 83%, favor continuing the Obama-era program, while 12% say it should be ended. Those figures have held roughly steady in CNN polling back to mid-September. The program has support from 94% of Democrats, 83% of independents and 67% of Republicans.

Related: Full poll results

Overall, 61% say it's very or somewhat likely that the program will ultimately be continued. Republicans are more inclined to think the program will live on than are Democrats: 71% of Republicans say it's very or somewhat likely to continue, compared with 66% of independents and just 51% of Democrats.

Trump moved to end the program in early September, setting up a March 5 target date on which the program would begin phasing out, while urging Congress to take action on the program. Although Congress has thus far failed to advance any legislation and has been at odds with the White House, federal court rulings have allowed the program to continue, and by not taking up the case, the Supreme Court allows those rulings to stand until they do address the issue, rendering the March 5 date null.

Trump's approval rating for handling immigration stands at 36%, roughly where it's been since shortly after he announced his plans on DACA in the fall. And few are confident that Trump and the Republicans in Congress will enact new laws that do improve the nation's immigration system: 38% are very or fairly confident that will happen, 60% are not confident.

Republicans are mostly confident that their party's leaders in Washington will make improvements on immigration (71% say so), but deep confidence in the President and his partisans in Congress on the issue has waned some in the last month. In January, 40% of Republicans said they were "very confident" that the Republicans in government would improve the nation's immigration laws; that stands at 33% now. Still, that's higher than the 23% who felt as confident in September.

Findings released earlier this week from the same CNN poll found that immigration ranked below health care, the economy, and gun policy as a meaningful issue for voters as the congressional midterm elections approach. Overall, 38% call it an extremely important issue in their vote, though Democrats were more apt to say it was deeply important than were Republicans (48% to 32%).

Trump's approval on the economy has faded slightly in the last month, with 47% now disapproving, up from 43% in January; 46% currently approve. In January, Trump's approval rating for the economy had tipped into positive territory for the first time since the spring. That happened at the same time the President's overall approval ratings ticked upward by 5 points. Findings released earlier from the same poll found his overall numbers dipping back to 35% approval, erasing the gains seen in January following a string of positive economic news and strong stock market performance.

The public is split on how things are going in the US generally today: 49% say things in the country are going fairly or very well, 49% badly.

That isn't a new high mark overall or for the Trump administration's tenure, but the 13% who feel things are going "very well" is the highest to say so in CNN polling back to at least 2004. That uptick is driven largely by Republicans. Back in October, 13% said things in the country were going very well, now, 26% say the same. Among Democrats and independents, though, the numbers haven't moved significantly.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS February 20-23 among a random national sample of 1,016 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.

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