Apr 4, 2024 - News

Poll: How Colorado voters feel about the influx of migrants

Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Note: Margin of error is +/- 4%; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios
Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Note: Margin of error is +/- 4%; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Colorado voters agree that immigration is a top concern, but they're split on solutions to solve it, according to the second installment of a bipartisan poll released Thursday.

The big picture: 62% of the 632 likely voters surveyed last month by the independent Colorado Polling Institute say the recent influx of migrants from the southern U.S. border is a "crisis" or "major problem."

  • Voters largely blame Congress (43%) and the Biden administration (41%) for a lack of border security that has spurred the arrival of more than 40,000 people in Denver since January 2023.
  • But nearly a third of voters point the finger at Denver for its own welcoming policies.

Why it matters: The public's perception appears at least in part to be influencing Denver Mayor Mike Johnston's administration.

Friction point: There's a deep-seated divide when it comes to the approach participants think local leaders should take to address the issue.

  • 51% say Colorado's resources are being "overwhelmed" by new immigrants — and they need to be turned away.
  • 49% say they should be met with compassion and are simply here looking for work and better lives.

Between the lines: There are "massive demographic and political gaps under the surface," Democratic pollster Kevin Ingham of Aspect Strategic said in a statement.

  • For example, 80% of voters who regularly attend religious services want to turn new arrivals away compared to 73% who don't attend regularly and prefer treating them with a gentler approach.
  • Also "surprising," Ingham noted, is that voters of color prefer turning migrants away by a 17-point margin, whereas their white counterparts lean towards showing compassion by a narrow 1-point margin.

The bottom line: Two-thirds of voters say different races, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds make the state stronger — "so there's a complicated story here," Ingham told reporters ahead of the poll's release.

  • "Coloradans are a welcoming bunch … but many of us are also looking at the migration situation with concern — including in the more liberal-leaning Denver metro region, where there (are) higher levels" of unease, he said.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found

Denverpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more