A recent poll conducted by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Los Angeles Times and SurveyMonkey found that California voters are more likely than the rest of the nation to see immigrants as beneficial to society.
The poll — which took place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 and asked more than 5,000 people about their thoughts on immigration, government and the economy — took into account voters’ political affiliations and demographics and tested samples from California and the nation at large.
According to USC News, the poll found that 59 percent of California voters believe that immigrants strengthen society and 35 percent believe that they weaken it. In comparison, only 49 percent of U.S. voters believe that immigration is beneficial while 43 percent believe it is detrimental.
However, the poll also found that 41 percent of California voters believe that immigrants cause financial difficulties, while 10 percent say that they make things easier financially and 39 percent say that they make no difference. These results, according to Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Director Dan Schnur, demonstrate that Californians recognize the short-term challenges of immigration as well as the long-term benefits.
“It’s not surprising that Californians are much more positive about the benefits of immigration than voters nationally, but even our state’s residents recognize that immigration can present economic challenges as well,” Schnur told USC News.
The results of the poll showed a clear division among party lines, with the majority of Democrats harboring positive feelings about immigration and cultural diversity and the majority of Republicans coming out against it. Furthermore, demographics play a role as well; a majority of younger and minority voters in California supported immigration.
The poll also tested voters’ opinions on economic inequality, with 59 percent of California voters stating that an economic system that favors the wealthy is a significant issue and only 39 percent citing government regulation of the free market as a bigger problem.