If there's any state where Donald Trump's lofty promises of a giant wall to keep out those people should play well, it's Arizona. But with two weeks and two days before the election, giant walls aren't playing well in Arizona. Not at all.
Donald Trump rode to the top of the Republican ticket promising a "big, beautiful, powerful" border wall with Mexico to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants. Along that border, however, Americans are more likely to call the wall a "waste of money", according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
The results show that while the New York businessman may have expected his tough stance on immigration to fire up support nationally, it seems to be falling short in a state heavily affected by illegal immigration, and where he is now facing a surprising challenge from his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Asked if a wall would be “an effective barrier or a waste of money,” 47 percent of Arizona residents picked “waste of money” and 34 percent picked “effective barrier”, with the rest picking neither, according to the poll. Among Republicans, 21 percent picked "waste of money” and 57 percent picked “effective barrier."
Most Arizonans also believed it is not realistic to expect Mexico to pay for the wall, something Trump has vowed would happen if he’s elected president on Nov. 8, according to the poll.
The results lined up closely with nationwide opinions of Trump’s immigration policy: 49 percent of American adults say the wall would be a “waste of money” and 31 percent say it would be an “effective barrier.”
Uh-oh. It seems like all Trump is doing is making sure Latino voters do just that this year: vote.
Florida is another closely-fought state that has seen large levels of illegal immigration, though by sea rather than by land. Some 41 percent of voters there said they believed Trump’s wall would be a “waste of money”, while 36 percent thought it would be an “effective barrier”.
Progressive activist groups in both Florida and Arizona have been using Trump’s hard line on immigration against him to mobilize Latinos for Clinton, who advocates a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Mi Familia Vota, for example, says they registered more than 15,000 people in Arizona this year.
We'll see what happens. Trump may be the best thing to come along for the Latino vote ever.
For Democrats, that is.