Texas Tribune by Jim Henson
I wrote about the conflicting opinions about immigration among Texas Republicans earlier, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse. But as a short addendum, the table below looks at the results of a different set of immigration items from the May 2011 survey, cross-tabulated with the survey item that provided poll respondents with the option of identifying with the Tea Party label instead of with the major parties (see this column from June for the wording of the question). While the Tea Party contingent seems to pull the party rightward in some areas, especially fiscal policy, their views on immigration are a mixed bag. They are fairly indistinguishable from Republicans in some areas, though are more restrictive; they are more intense in their views in a couple of other areas.
For the most part, the Tea Party attitudes toward the immigration items are much like those of the Republican stalwarts, which is no great surprise given that a large majority of those who choose to identify with the Tea Party in our hypothetical matchup would otherwise self-identify as Republican.
There are some signs of the rightward pull associated with the Tea Party in other areas. The share of Tea Party identifiers opposed to the idea of a comprehensive immigration reform that would include a so-called “path to citizenship” is larger than the share of Republicans, and their opposition is more intense. Seventy-two percent of Tea Party identifiers strongly disapprove of such a proposal, compared to 58 percent of Republican identifiers who strongly disapprove. (By comparison, only 16 percent of self-identified Democrats strongly opposed such comprehensive reform.) The Tea Partiers were also somewhat more opposed to policies associated with the now infamous sanctuary cities. These results were echoed in the prominence of Tea Party activists among the signatories of a recent open letter to Gov. Rick Perry asking him to call another special session to address immigration issues.