Pollsters say immigration not a top issue for voters in ’08 election

WASHINGTON (CNS) — With a sour economy, a war in its sixth year, gas prices at record levels and good health care increasingly unattainable, voters have other priorities ahead of worries about illegal immigration, pollsters say. A May voter survey found immigration to be voters’ fifth biggest concern behind those other issues, with 7 percent citing it as their top issue. The Battleground Poll by the Tarrance Group, Lake Research and George Washington University released in late May found the economy and jobs to be the top election priority for 23 percent of voters. That was followed by the Iraq War and gas/energy prices, at 15 percent each, and health care, cited by 9 percent. Falling below illegal immigration as priorities were concerns about terrorism and retirement/Social Security, with each cited by 6 percent. Brian Nienaber, vice president of the Tarrance Group, a Washington political polling firm, said the heat on immigration as a political issue has been turned down significantly this year, now that the possibility of comprehensive immigration legislation is off the congressional table and the positions of the three leading presidential candidates on the topic aren’t far apart from each other.

(c) 2008 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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