POLLSTER UPDATE: Most Support 'Path To Citizenship'

Another poll finds a positive reaction to the immigration reform proposal, but less intensity among supporters. Americans like the IRS even less. And the RNCC kicks off a new round of “unskew the polls!” This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Thursday, May 23, 2013.

ABC/POST: MAJORITY BACKS 'PATH TO CITIZENSHIP' - The Washington Post's Balz & Cohen: "58 percent of all Americans support a so-called 'path to citizenship' that offers those currently living in the United States illegally a way to achieve legal status if they pay a fine and meet other requirements...The overall support for the bill’s most controversial provision, however, masks partisan divisions that have colored the congressional debate. Majorities of Democrats and independents back the path to citizenship proposal, but 52 percent of Republicans say they oppose it. " [Washington Post]

Support less intense - The strong net positive reaction to the "path to citizenship," which confirms findings from a series of other national polls, is only part of the story. When the Post/ABC interviews probed for intensity of opinion, they found 34 percent strongly favoring the proposal and 29 percent strongly opposing it. Similarly, says ABC News, "people who oppose a path to legal status are more likely than its supporters to call the issue a red line in their vote preference – but there are fewer of them, equalizing the overall effect" on the 2014 elections. [ABC News]

AMERICANS SOUR ON IRS - Gallup's Jeff Jones and Lydia Saad: "A new Gallup poll finds Americans' views of the job the Internal Revenue Service is doing skewing much more negative than in the past, with 42% saying the IRS is doing a poor job, up from 20% in 2009 and 15% in 2003. Meanwhile, positive ratings of the IRS have declined 14 points since 2009, from 40% to 27%." [Gallup]


ABC/POST FINDS DEMS AHEAD ON GENERIC BALLOT - ABC News explains their poll's measurement of the 'generic' ballot for U.S. House: "While it’s far too early to handicap the 2014 election in any serious way, registered voters currently favor the Democratic candidate over the Republican in their congressional district by 48--40 percent, the largest Democratic midterm advantage since 2006. The result almost entirely reflects a current Democratic advantage in partisan affiliation. Among registered voters in this survey, 33 percent identify themselves as Democrats, 22 percent as Republicans; most of the rest are independents, and they split evenly in their 2014 preference. Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 6 points in the 2012 presidential election and by 7 points in 2008, but they were even in the last two midterms – meaning the Democratic advantage holds only if their midterm turnout improves dramatically." [ABC News]

NRCC gets into the 'unskewing' business - Not content with that explanation, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) penned a blog response, complete with a "Polling Lessons 101" graphic. They point out that other polls have shown closer results, that the generic question came near the end of the questionnaire "right before asking about the Tea Party and after respondents are prompted to contemplate who’s to blame for the Senate not passing background checks, President Obama or Republicans," and that the "Democrats do not have an 11 point registration advantage. Period." (Pro-tip to NRCC: It's party identification they're measuring, not party registration). The NRCC has also created a "Topline Translator" twitter feed dedicated to poll unskewing "an NRCC perspective on recent public polling." [NRCC]

MARKEY LEADS AGAIN - The student-run Emerson College Polling Society has released another automated poll showing Democrat Ed Markey leading Republican Gabriel Gomez by wider margin (45 to 33 percent) than their last survey in early May (42 to 36 percent). Seven public polls have been released on this race so far in May, and while the margins have varied widely (from 3 to 17 percentage points), Markey has led on all seven. [Emerson College]

THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Rasmussen finds Quinn just six points ahead of Weiner in NYC. [Rasmussen]

-Sean Trende gives the edge to McAuliffe in Virginia. [RealClearPolitics]

-Young adults are generally less trusting of institutions, but with exceptions. [Pew Research]

-Harry Enten concludes Americans aren't focused on drone strikes. [Guardian]

-Brian Singh reports on what's going wrong with polls in Canada. [Globe and Mail]

-Christine Quinn snags some major presidential donors to support her campaign. [HuffPost]