A significant number of conservative Republican voters support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, a new poll shows.
The Associated Press-Gfk poll found that overall a majority of Americans (54%) support a path to citizenship, while 44% are against it.
The survey also found that 40% of Republicans—and even three in 10 Tea Partiers— are in favor of a pathway to legal status.
Still, the poll shows a pathway to citizenship is far more popular among Democrats, with 70% supporting legalization.
“The new polls shows that while tough rhetoric on immigration appeals to a majority of Republicans, most still don’t consider it a deal breaker issue,” the AP said.
The poll was released as immigration reform continues to dominate the issues on the campaign trail, particularly among Republican presidential candidates. This week, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio sparred repeatedly, first in the Republican debate and again on the campaign trail, over their positions on immigration.
The poll also found that a vast majority of Latinos support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, with nearly three-quarters backing such a measure.
Read more about the AP’s poll here.