Democrats really walked right into the quicksand on this one. A poll published this morning by Politico/Morning Consult confirms that the majority of the country is against the left’s plan to abolish ICE.
Only 1 in 4 voters in the poll, 25 percent, believe the federal government should get rid of ICE. The majority, 54 percent, think the government should keep ICE. Twenty-one percent of voters are undecided.
But a plurality of Democratic voters do support abolishing ICE, the poll shows. Among Democrats, 43 percent say the government should get rid of ICE, while only 34 percent say it should keep ICE. Majorities of Republicans (79 percent) and independents (54 percent) want the government to keep ICE…
While the partisan differences on the issue are stark, so are the cleavages by age. Among voters under age 30, more support getting rid of ICE (39 percent) than keeping it (33 percent). But majorities among all other ages — 30-44 (51 percent), 45-54 (56 percent), 55-64 (61 percent) and 65 and older (68 percent) — support keeping the agency.
So this will help the far left with the same group of young people who are already solidly in their corner, but for everyone else this is a non-starter. Last week, Allahpundit pointed to two polls which showed roughly the same thing. A HuffPost/YouGov poll found support for abolishing ICE at 21 percent, while a Harvard-Harris poll found overall support at 31 percent. In both cases, nearly all of the support came from Democrats.
The overall numbers are a problem obviously, but the bigger problem for the left is that a strong plurality of Democrats, 43% in the Politico poll, 41% in the Harvard Harris poll, believe ICE should be abolished. So while this is clearly a dead end politically, there’s enough support within the party to ensure Democrats can’t let it go. Thanks to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and a few others, they are stuck with this as an issue in November. Nothing says victory like being saddled with an unpopular wedge issue your base demands you talk about.
“[C]ongressional candidates who embrace the ‘Abolish ICE’ movement could have a difficult time appealing to voters across party lines,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s managing director. “For example, over three-fifths (61 percent) of Republicans and 41 percent of independents say they would be less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supported getting rid of ICE.”
Of course, the numbers could change. But we’ve had months of full-court media press on the children at the border story and this is where things sit. If the Trump administration manages to reunite most of the families (which isn’t certain at the moment) I suspect support for this will drop. This is a fringe issue that works as a hashtag for young socialists but isn’t going to help Democrats win in November except perhaps in deep blue districts where they didn’t need cross-party appeal anyway.