Alabama 3rd Most Hostile State Toward Immigrants
The poll asked the following question
"Which of these 2 statements do you agree with more:
One: Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.
Two: Immigrants do jobs that Americans don't want."
56% of Alabamians agreed with the first statement while 40% agreed with the second.
These results placed Alabama behind only West Virginia and Indiana in negative perceptions of immigrants.
These results further convince me that the issue of immigration (illegal or otherwise) could be a major issue in the 2006 elections. I've said before that I think such a scenario would favor challengers and outsiders rather than incumbents. An issue like illegal immigration has an inherent anti-incumbent/anti-status quo bias.
While I doubt many candidates will speak in favor of illegal immigration, there are many in the business community who rely on cheap, immigrant labor. This could open up another fissure among the GOP if Roy Moore speaks out against both illegal and legal immigration. Bob Riley's staunch support from the likes of the BCA might make him reticent to engage the issue. This would give Roy Moore another opportunity to cast Riley as outside the mainstream of conservative thought.
Some pundits have discounted the potential impact of the issue, but this poll shows that there is certainly a constituency in Alabama that feels strongly about immigration.