Poll suggests CD 27 voters think border security, crime are biggest issues this election
FILE - Migrants who crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. wait next to the U.S. border wall where U.S. Border Patrol agents stand guard, seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Thursday, March 30, 2023. The Biden administration will open migration centers in South and Central America for asylum seekers heading to the U.S.-Mexico border, in a bid to slow what’s expected to be a surge of migrants seeking to cross the border next month as pandemic-era immigration restrictions end, U.S. officials said Thursday, April 27. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

Immigration Asylum
A plurality of voters agreed that the U.S. needs to better enforce its immigration laws and deport those who enter the country illegally.

A national poll of battleground districts, including Florida’s 27th Congressional District, shows border security surpassing inflation as the biggest issue for voters this cycle.

Most also agree that there should be tougher laws for property and violent crimes.

Polling firm Cygnal surveyed 1,500 voters from 39 congressional districts March 5-7. The races included 15 Democratic incumbents, three open seats and 21 Republican incumbents, including U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar of CD 27.

No issue weighed heavier than America’s porous border. Thirty percent of respondents said border security is top-of-mind for them eight months ahead of the General Election. In January, just 11% said it was their No. 1 issue.

A plurality of voters (47%) agreed the U.S. needs to better enforce its immigration laws and deport those who enter the country illegally. That contingent included 52% of independents, 47% of suburban voters and 43% of Hispanic voters.

Meanwhile, concerns over inflation fell, topping the list for 23% of respondents. Independents continue to care more about inflation, while Republicans are focused more on border security and Democrats worry about threats to democracy.

The margin of error was 2.45 percentage points.

“(The) crisis at the southern border has surged in the last two months to the top of the list in battleground districts,” said Brock McCleary, Vice President of Polling for Cygnal. “On crime and public safety, voters are nearly unanimous in their feeling that the U.S. criminal justice (system) is not tough enough on crime; so much so that we are now actually encouraging crime rather than deterring it.”

Seventy-nine percent of poll respondents said the U.S is not strict enough on violent crime, including two-thirds of nearly every demographic group. Close to the same share (74%) said property crime prevention and enforcement is too lax, including more than 70% of independents and suburban voters.

Cygnal personnel wrote that doing nothing to correct this perception would be a “critical error for Democrats as more voters equate soft-on-crime with soft-on-the-border; especially when 41% said the blame for rising crime rests with the Democrats.”

Accordingly, disapproval of President Joe Biden’s job performance in office remains high (57%). Vice President Kamala Harris suffers the same level of disapproval.

Donald Trump’s polling lead over Biden has increased more than threefold over the 39 districts. His approval advantage is even starker: 41% approval and 50% disapproval compared to 33% approval and 58% disapproval among independents. He also holds a stronger foothold among Hispanics.

Despite rollbacks of reproductive rights in many states, including Florida, abortion led the bottom tier of issues among voters polled at just 4%.

Salazar is running for a third two-year term in CD 27, which covers Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and several unincorporated Miami-Dade County neighborhoods.

Her challengers include Democratic Miami-Dade School Board member Lucia Baez-Geller, Republican-turned-Democratic former Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey and Republicans Royland Lara and Frank Polo.

View the poll results and full data set below.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • nancy banister

    March 18, 2024 at 12:26 pm

    I’m not from this district but am a Florida resident, and my biggest issue is the border. So I say CLOSE THE BORDER, CLOSE THE BORDER, CLOSE THE BORDER. WHY HASN’T THE BORDER BEEN CLOSED?

  • PeterH

    March 18, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    Trump and Congressional Republicans will be blamed for blocking border legislation. Today’s GOP is spiraling down the rabbit hole!

  • Impeach Biden

    March 18, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    Dear Demo Zombies. Look at Europe. The people over there have had enough immigration as well.The Demo’s will spin it that somehow it is the Repubs fault. Never forget day one of Slo Joe’s administration and his pen with the Executive Orders. That started the stampede.

Comments are closed.


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