WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's prolonged flow of legal immigration has changed – and continues to change – the political landscape. A new Center for Immigration Studies report, "Immigration's Impact on Republican Political Prospects, 1980 to 2012", finds that each one percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a large county's population reduces the Republican share of the two-party presidential vote by an average of nearly 0.6 percentage points.
This shift is relatively uniform throughout the country, from California to Texas to Florida, regardless of the local party's stance on immigration. It is due to immigrant communities' lopsided support for big-government policies, which are more closely aligned with progressives than with conservatives. As a result, survey data show a two-to-one party identification with Democrats over Republicans. Increased immigration also significantly expands the low-income population, making voters overall more supportive of redistributive policies championed by Democrats to support disadvantaged populations.
See the report at http://www.cis.org/immigration-impacts-on-republican-prospects-1980-2012.
"As the immigrant population has grown, Republican electoral prospects have dimmed, even after controlling for alternative explanations of GOP performance," wrote James Gimpel, author of the report and a professor of government at the University of Maryland at College Park. "Republicans are right to want to attract Latino voters," he continued. "But expanding the flow of low-skilled immigrants into an economy ill-suited to promote their upward mobility will be counterproductive."
Over one million legal immigrants enter the United States each year. If this number were drastically increased, as called for by the Gang of Eight bill (S.744), the decline of the Republican Party would be accelerated. "The impact of immigration is easily sufficient, by itself, to decide upcoming presidential elections," Gimpel wrote.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.
Contact: Marguerite Telford
SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies