Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters nationwide believe it’s appropriate for the U.S. Census Bureau to ask residents if they are citizens of the United States. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 14% disagree and 8% are not sure.
That view is held by a solid majority of every measured demographic group. Ninety-two percent (92%) of Republicans believe the question is appropriate. So do 79% of Independent voters and 67% of Democrats.
Several states and cities are suing the federal government to prevent a question about citizenship from being asked. The plaintiffs claim that the question is meant to discourage immigrant participation.
Census data is used to determine the number of Congressional Districts allocated to each state. The more people a state has, the more districts it is allocated. For determining Congressional representation, 24% of voters believe that only citizens should be included in the population count. Another 40% believe that both citizens and legal residents should be counted. Finally, just 28% believe that illegal immigrants should be counted when it comes to determining Congressional representation.
Additionally, some federal grants are allocated using formulas based upon population and other factors. For the purposes of determining federal grant funding, public perceptions are similar. Sixty-four percent (64%) believe that either just citizens or legal residents should be counted. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe that illegal immigrants should be included in the total.
These results are consistent with data showing that 81% of voters believe legal immigration is good while 81% believe illegal immigration is bad.
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted November 8-9, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the demographic profile of our sample). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
There is no gender gap on these questions. There are however divides along partisan, racial, and geographic lines.
Just 23% of white voters believe illegal immigrants should be included in the totals used to determine Congressional representation. That view is held by 38% of black voters and 42% of Hispanic voters.
Forty percent (40%) of urban voters believe illegal immigrants should be included in the totals. Only 22% of suburban voters and 24% of rural voters agree.
On a partisan basis, 40% of Democrats believe illegal immigrants should be counted for purposes of determining the number of Congressional seats allocated to each state. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Independent voters and 14% of Republicans agree (see question wording and crosstab results).
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