58% of voters, including 64% of independents, support Congress’s border-foreign aid deal

“The good news for President Biden and the lion’s share of congressional Democrats is that they are standing on the same side as voters on this issue,” said Evan Roth Smith, Blueprint’s head pollster.

Feb. 7, 2024

Blueprint today released a new poll that shows voters of all political affiliations support the proposed congressional bipartisan legislative package—backed by President Biden—that would increase resources dedicated to border enforcement, tighten restrictions on who can seek asylum and refugee status in the United States, and send aid to US allies. In addition, the latest polling demonstrates that a plurality of voters would be more supportive of a Democrat in the 2024 congressional elections if they back the bipartisan deal. The survey—commissioned by Blueprint and conducted in late January by YouGov—also reveals that the border and immigration reform components of the deal are more popular than the foreign aid parts of it.

TOP TAKEAWAYS & FINDINGS

The Good News for Biden and Congressional Democrats: Voters Like the Deal and Say They Will Reward Politicians Who Vote for It

  • Among all voters, 58% support the deal, while 22% oppose it. There is bipartisan support for the deal among voters; 64% of Democrats, 53% of independents, and 53% of Republicans approve of the package—a net support of +46 among Democrats, +34 among independents, and +22 among Republicans.
  • The entirety of the border-foreign aid deal, as well as the specific aspects of the legislation, have voter support. The most popular aspects of the deal are its border and immigration reform components—increasing resources for border security (84% of all voters, 74% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 96% of Republicans support) and tightening restrictions on asylum (75% of all voters, 60% of Democrats, 78% of independents, and 93% of Republicans support).
  • The foreign aid parts of the deal all receive majority support from voters but are not as popular among voters as the border and immigration reforms. Specifically, aid for Israel has 62% support versus 28% opposition, aid for Taiwan has 66% support versus 34% opposition, and aid for Ukraine has 59% support versus 41% opposition.
  • The deal is unlikely to alienate the base of the Democratic Party. The overwhelming majority of Black voters (87%) and Hispanic voters (67%) support increasing resources for border security and enforcement, as do 64% of voters aged 18 to 29. Additionally, 74% of Black voters and 60% of Hispanic voters support tightening asylum standards.
  • 34% of voters would be less supportive of a Republican politician if he/she refuses to support the deal, compared to 27% who would be more supportive. Among independents, 29% would be less supportive of a Republican if he/she rejects the deal, including 23% who would be “much less” supportive.
  • On the flip side, if a Republican were to support the border deal (rather than oppose it), 39% of voters would be more supportive of the politician compared to 17% who would be less supportive—a 22-point net gain that includes +10 net among independents, and a whopping +33 net among Democrats.
  • Democratic politicians who support the package earn a boost from 38% of all voters, compared to just 18% of voters who would be less supportive of them; 25% of independents would be more supportive of a Democrat if he/she supports the deal, compared to 13% of independents who would be less supportive of the Democratic politician. 54% of Democratic voters say they would be more supportive of a Democratic politician who supports the deal.
  • 44% of Black voters and 34% of Hispanic voters would be more supportive of a Democratic politician who supports the bipartisan border-foreign aid deal. Just 10% of Black voters and 16% of Hispanic voters would be less supportive of a Democrat who supports the package.
  • 52% of voters—including 56% of Democrats, 44% of independents, and 51% of Republicans—have heard about the bipartisan negotiations on a border-foreign aid deal, revealing unusually high voter awareness of insider Washington negotiations with plenty of room for the White House to increase the salience of the issue as it pressures Republicans.

The Bad (But Old) News for President Biden: Currently, He Is Vulnerable on the Border and Immigration, Especially Among Key Voters He Needs to Win in 2024

  • 70% of independents say they are worried that Biden would allow all immigrants living illegally in the United States to stay forever.
  • 69% of independents believe that Biden would allow immigrants to illegally cross the border with Mexico.
  • At 69%, a top concern for non-college white voters is Biden allowing “immigrants to illegally cross the US border with Mexico” Another one of their top concerns is allowing “immigrants who entered illegally to stay forever,” close behind at 68%.
  • Immigration and the border are also of significant concern for Black voters. 48% are worried the president would “allow immigrants to illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico.”

“This data makes it crystal clear that voters are willing to reward members of both parties for getting to a yes on a legislative package that pairs border enforcement with foreign aid, and Republicans will be punished at the voting booth for playing games with the border and national security,” said Evan Roth Smith, Blueprint’s head pollster. “The good news for President Biden and the lion’s share of congressional Democrats is that they are standing on the same side as voters on this issue.”

“But at the same time, these numbers demonstrate that the voters President Biden needs to win over in November are concerned about him being overly lenient on immigration,” Roth Smith added. “The ongoing negotiations present a golden opportunity for the president and Democratic lawmakers to demonstrate they are able to deliver a legislative win on critical, difficult issues, as the deal stands in the cross hairs of ideological opposition from the left and politically cynical and pigheaded antagonism from the right.”

About the Poll 

Blueprint commissioned a survey conducted by YouGov of 1,001 voters from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29 nationally. The survey was conducted in English, and its margin of error is ±3.4 percentage points.

Supporting Materials

Linked here is a Google Drive to download our full suite of materials from this poll, including:

  • Toplines
  • Crosstabs
  • “Pop-up pollster”: An annotated guide to our topline, with commentary from pollster Evan Roth Smith
  • Presentation deck

About Blueprint

Blueprint is a public opinion research initiative designed to study the most crucial voting groups and which policies and messages are breaking through and resonating with them. Through frequent polling and message testing on the most salient political issues, Blueprint will provide insights and recommendations on how to reach the voters who will be essential to delivering the Democrats the White House and control of Congress in 2024. Going beyond the scope of typical message testing, Blueprint will examine whether voters have even heard of or are convinced by the underlying accomplishments that President Biden is spreading the message about, and who voters think these policies are meant to serve.

Blueprint does not advocate for any specific policy agenda; this effort is focused on identifying messaging and narratives (including those that are out-of-the-box or contrary to current conventional wisdom) that will produce winning coalitions for Democrats in 2024.

There is a widely shared view that the central vulnerability that Democrats face in 2024 is not the quality of our current governance or policies, but rather our inability to create a compelling narrative that can sway voters in the most fiercely contested states and congressional districts across the country. Using state-of-the-art polling that incorporates pollster analysis and highly actionable practitioner-oriented data, Blueprint will help campaigns and other stakeholders see where voters stand and how Biden and the Democratic Party can best appeal to those who will shape the outcome of the 2024 elections, including independents and swing voters.

Blueprint also aims to be a go-to resource for the media. Three years into the Biden presidency and a year out from the general election, journalists are diving into why the president’s approval ratings remain low and why he’s not getting more credit for his accomplishments. As the 2024 cycle progresses, Blueprint’s polling and research will serve as a vital tool for answering these and other questions.
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