More Americans agree with how Jan Brewer sees the immigration problem than the views of Barack Obama.
But that doesn’t mean they want her to be president.
In a new nationwide Rasmussen Reports survey taken in the days after the pair met — a meeting that gained national attention — 34 percent of the 1,000 likely voters said their views on illegal immigration are closer to that of the president. By contrast, 56 percent said they more closely aligned with those of Brewer.
The pair had sharply divergent opinions on what to do about the issue.
Obama, after their meeting, repeated his call for “comprehensive immigration reform.’’ The White House said that includes more border security but also includes a path to legalization for at least some of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
In her own comments following the closed-door discussion at the White House, Brewer said it would be wrong to try to address the question of those already here until the border is secured. She said previous attempts that included what she called “amnesty’’ did nothing to solve the underlying problem of people crossing the border illegally or remaining in this country after their visas expired.
The survey also found that 64 percent of those asked believe the federal government is to blame for the controversy surrounding Arizona’s new immigration law, which requires police to check the immigration status of those they have stopped when there is “reasonable suspicion’’ they are in the country illegally. That blame is based on the government not enforcing its own immigration laws.
Just 27 percent blamed the controversy on Arizona officials for passing the law in the first place.
But the agreement by those questioned with Brewer’s views on immigration are not enough to convince a majority that she should be running the country.
The survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday, found 39 percent would vote for Brewer in a head-to-head race with Obama. The incumbent would pick up 44 percent, with 8 percent unsure and 9 percent saying they don’t like the choice at all and want someone else entirely.
It’s possible, though, the result is based on ignorance of a sort: Asked their impression of the Arizona governor, 26 percent said it was very or somewhat favorable, 20 percent very or somewhat unfavorable — with fully 54 percent said they were not sure what to think of her.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.