The results of a poll conducted by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and Diversified Research early this month are probably coming as a shock to pro-North Mexico politicans on both sides of the aisle, both on a “total numbers” basis and a partisan basis.
Because I’m in a bit of a writer’s funk, and partly because there are only limited crosstabs available, I won’t go too far into the numbers, but there are a few that jump out (the questions, in italics, are the exact wording used in the poll):
– Should the state of Wisconsin allow illegal immigrants to apply for Wisconsin driver’s licenses? – Statewide, 76% no, 19% yes. Only one subgroup showed a majority/plurality of support; those 18-24 years old (64%-36% in favor). Even among liberals, it was an even split (at 48%), while the Madison crowd barely opposed it (49%-48%). Of further note, Madison and the Eau Claire/La Crosse area (opposition led 65%-32%) are out of step with the rest of the state, a theme that repeated itself in the other two questions, while the city of Milwaukee (opposition led 80%-17%), which is most-affected by illegal immigration, showed a significant split with the conventional wisdom of liberals supporting illegal immigration.
– Should the state of Wisconsin allow illegal immigrants to receive discounted in-state tuition at the
University of Wisconsin? – Statewide, 86% no, 10% yes. No subgroup showed a majority/pluality of support, though again the splits mirror the results above.
– Would you favor or oppose allowing illegal immigrant children to attend your local public schools? – Statewide, 46% yes, 46% no. The crosstabs don’t quite mirror either the above or the conventional wisdom that southeast Wisconsin has a monopoly on “conservatism”. While opposition led in the Green Bay area, 53%-32% (the biggest spread geographically), those in southeast Wisconsin (at least outside of Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties; those are broken out separately) supported this 50%-46%, while support in the Eau Claire/La Crosse area (72%-28%) actually outpaced that in Madison (61%-33%).
I guess it’s safe to say that, at least on the issue of illegal immigration, those of us in Talk Radio Land, and those in the Fox Valley, are more in touch with the state than the Dale Schultzes and the Mike Huebschs (or at least their constituents), and the Recess Supervisors of the world. Guess that’ll add some fuel to the fire of the battle for the Wisconsin Republican soul.
I do need to point out an extension that should be made to WPRI’s summary. The fact that there is so much opposition to giving a primary-school education to illegal immigrant children in the face of the lack of any real call to take it away is telling.