Nearly two-thirds of likely voters in battleground races this fall disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of immigration, according to a new POLITICO poll — a public rebuke that comes after the White House grappled with the border crisis and reversed on a pledge to take executive action on deportations by the end of the summer.
The poll found that 35 percent of voters in the most competitive House and Senate races this fall said they approved of how Obama has dealt with immigration, compared with 64 percent who said they disapproved of the president’s handling of the issue. And by a narrow margin, more voters said they trust the GOP over Democrats on immigration.
The politics of immigration have been upended by the surge of unaccompanied migrant children at the Texas border this summer — a crisis that attracted nationwide attention and focused the immigration debate on the issue of border security.
Republicans jumped on the border crisis to paint Obama and Democrats as too lenient on immigration, pointing to the president’s 2012 directive that stopped deporting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children as the main cause for the influx.