Donald Trump has made no secret of how much he loves polls. During the primary season he was often seen carrying them in his jacket pocket making for an easy read of his popularity to anyone who was listening. He was very adept at turning those numbers into the message of the day no matter what else was taking place. Polls to Trump are like TV show ratings, which we also know he loves. It made perfect Trump sense when he recently hired Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway as his third campaign manager. She drives the kind of train that he likes best. Numbers.
Does anyone really think that Trump just pulled immigration out of the hat to make it his major campaign issue? Don't bet on it. Trump's focus on immigration goes to the primary issue that polls have shown is of most concern to his supporters, but not necessarily the rest of the country.
A new Pew Research poll shows American's rejecting many of Trump's views on immigration. Yet 66% of Trump registered voters consider immigration a "very big problem". The dichotomy between the two groups reflects some of the waffling the candidate has done in recent days on his signature and often inflammatory issue. The same poll shows Trump supporters have mixed feelings about undocumented immigrants, but no crack in that big wall they want to have built. 79% of Trump supporters overwhelmingly favor construction of a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border. The split showed up once again when the majority of American's surveyed rejected it. Appealing to his base while extending his reach has gotten more challenging for Donald Trump.
As a country of immigrants, our immigration policies have always been complicated. Donald Trump, the man who likes quick fixes, is learning that when it comes to opening and closing our doors to those who want to come to our shores, the Statue of Liberty stands tall.