Half of Americans said President Barack Obama has the better approach to immigration reform than Republicans in Congress while pluralities gave him the nod on the federal budget deficit and gun policies, according to the inaugural USA Today/Pew Research Center poll released Thursday.
Fifty percent of those surveyed said they prefer Obama on immigration, while just 33 percent said the congressional GOP has a better approach to the issue. Obama claims a nearly identical edge over the likes of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on guns and the deficit.
On gun laws, 45 percent said Obama's approach is better compared with 39 percent who said Republicans on Capitol Hill. The poll showed Obama with a 45 percent to 38 percent advantage over the GOP on the federal budget deficit. The widest disparity came on climate change, to which 47 percent said the President has the best approach while just a little more than a quarter of respondents said Republicans are better-suited to deal with the issue.
The pollsters fleshed out the public's attitudes toward those policy areas, providing a look at the source of Obama's current political advantage. Half of Americans said it is more important to control gun ownership than it is protect the right of Americans to own guns, while majorities are in favor of imposing a ban on high-capacity magazines that contain more than 10 bullets, closing the so-called gun show loophole and reinstituting the assault weapons ban. Fifty-four percent said the country should give priority to developing alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and hyrdogen, while only 34 percent said it's more important to expand the production of oil, natural gas and coal.
Read the entire poll here.