Support for citizenship question slips in new poll

The number of Americans who support adding a citizenship question to the U.S. Census has slipped in recent months, according to a Hill-HarrisX survey released Wednesday.

Even though a majority still favor adding the citizenship question, the survey found that 55 percent of voters favor putting the inquiry on the census questionnaire, compared to 30 percent who are against such a question.

This marks a 5-percent drop from an identical poll conducted in April before the Supreme Court ruled against the administration’s reasoning for the question and before officials decided to ultimately abandon efforts to add the question earlier this month.

The number who disapprove of the question’s inclusion, meanwhile, is up 9 points to 21 percent in the new survey.

A large portion — 15 percent — were not sure one way or the other. 

The latest poll was conducted July 12-13 among a sampling of 1,003 registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 plus or minus percentage points.

The results come after a federal judge in New York signed an order this week to permanently block the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who was appointed by former President Obama, had initially ruled against the question’s addition to the 2020 Census. The decision was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.

In a 5-4 vote, the high court said the Trump administration’s reason for including the question, which they claimed was to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, was “contrived” and blocked it from being on the next census unless officials provided an alternative rationale.

Trump initially vowed that he would push forward to include the question, but has since conceded defeat. He instead took executive action to require federal agencies to provide the Commerce Department with information on citizens and non-citizens in the U.S.

Opponents of the question had argued that including such a question was discriminatory, and would discourage participation from minority groups as a way to benefit Republicans in redistricting.

But the months-long battle doesn’t appear to be over just yet.

The House was slated to vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress for not complying with congressional subpoenas to provide information on their push to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census.

—Tess Bonn


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