By David McCabe
A majority of voters want Congress to focus on passing immigration reform, not reversing President Obama's executive action on immigration, according to a new poll.
The Beyond the Beltway Insights Initiative poll found 69 percent of voters favored Congress tackling legislation dealing with immigration — including 50 percent of Republicans. Democrats and independents widely favored a reform-focused approach.
The BSG/SKDK poll also surveyed Americans on their view of the political landscape and other major issues that will face the next Congress.
As liberals like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenClinton at risk of being upstaged Kaine will stand with Clinton on TPP opposition The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Mass.) continue to advocate for solutions to income inequality, 60 percent of voters favor a president that prioritizes economic growth over economic fairness.
Still, seventy-six percent of respondents said they supported raising taxes on the wealthy and 88 percent said they supported cutting taxes for the middle class.
Only 13 percent believe that they will be economically worse off in five years. Forty-five percent said they will be better off, and forty-two percent said they will be the same.
The poll delved into the growing discussion over the way law enforcement treats racial minorities.
While roughly three quarters of voters trust the police, the poll finds that there is a significant racial divide in how Americans view law enforcement.
Seventy percent of whites said the decisions of two grand juries — one in Missouri and one in New York — not to indict white police officers who killed black men were isolated incidents and that the justice system was fair. But 82 percent of African Americans said that the decisions indicate that the system treats African Americans differently than whites. Fifty-four percent of Hispanics agreed that the system treats African Americans different.
A majority of Democrats and voters under 40 said the system was biased.
Voters generally cite the economy as their top concerns, but African Americans broke with that trend and identified racism as their top worry.
The grand jury decisions have led to some action in Washington. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) introduced legislation that would require law enforcement agencies receiving federal funds to make their officers use body cameras. President Obama has also proposed paying for 50,000 new body cameras for officers nationwide.
The poll from Democratic firms Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker was conducted from December 7-10, with a sample of 993 likely 2016 voters and a margin of error of 3.11 percent.