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Poll: Republicans rank border security as the top priority in 2024

(NewsNation) — Republican voters say securing the border and preventing illegal immigration should be the GOP’s top priority if it wins control of Congress and the White House in 2024, according to a new NewsNation/DecisionDesk HQ poll released Monday...READ THE FULL ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE▶▶

More than half of Republicans surveyed — 52% — said border security is the number one priority, ahead of “decreasing spending to keep inflation in check” at 30% and “cracking down on crime” at 8%.

When asked what measures would be most successful to secure the U.S. border with Mexico amid the burgeoning migrant crisis, 46% of Republican voters said they believed building a border wall would be most effective. Fifteen percent said prioritizing funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection was most important, followed by 14% who supported deploying U.S. troops to the area.

Those findings align with many of the policy ideas Republican presidential candidates have vowed to put in place. All five major GOP candidates have made border security a centerpiece of their campaigns.

However, despite their heightened concern, Republican voters don’t support all types of spending when it comes to the migrant crisis, the NewsNation/DecisionDesk HQ poll found.

Nearly two-thirds — 63% — of GOP respondents said they were against increasing federal funding for state and local governments that are dealing with an influx of migrants. While many red border states have been on the frontlines of the border crisis, many major blue cities and states have been feeling the pressure of the migrant surge after Republican governors, like Texas’ Gov. Greg Abbott, began busing migrants to those places over the last year.

“Republicans aren’t opposed to spending money on immigration, they would just like to see it spent more on enforcement, not on integration,” said Scott Tranter, director of data science at DecisionDesk HQ.

It also has to do with who receives the funding, NewsNation’s political and economic contributor Mick Mulvaney pointed out.

If you blame the Democrats for the current border crisis, as many Republicans do, then the last thing you want to do is give more money to Democratic mayors to deal with it,” he said.

Democrats, who make up the majority of voters in so-called “sanctuary cities” like New York City and Chicago, were significantly more likely — about 75% of those polled — to support additional federal funding for state and local governments to manage the migrant situation.

Although partisan differences remain, border security may become a more salient issue for all voters as inflation continues to ease.

Nearly a quarter of independents surveyed, 23%, said securing the border should be Republicans’ top priority if they take power in 2024. From a list of seven options, only cutting spending to reduce inflation ranked higher with 36% support.

One in four Democrats said they thought expanding green card and visa availability was the best option to deter security issues at the southern border, but almost 10% now think building a wall would be the most helpful.

I’m stunned that 10% said they want to build the wall because that’s essentially admitting that Trump was right,” Mulvaney said.

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