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New Poll: NY Battleground Voters Favor Solutions Over Tough-On-Crime & Immigration Messages

NYCLU Surveys in Two Sample Swing Districts Show Solutions-Oriented Messages Can Catalyze Voter Turnout 

NEW YORK CITY – The New York Civil Liberties Union today released polling conducted by Lake Research Partners that shows solutions-oriented messages beat tough-on-crime and immigration messages with voters in two sample battleground congressional districts, NY-19 and NY-22.

Surveyed in March of this year, majorities of voters in these districts favor candidates who would invest in affordable housing, mental health treatment, quality schools, and good jobs to prevent crime, instead of relying on arrest and incarceration. They also favor pathways to citizenship for longstanding residents and DREAMers and value the contributions immigrants make to New York communities.

“Our findings upend the prevailing wisdom that says tough-on-crime and tough-on-immigration campaigning is the way to win New York’s purple parts,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Voters in New York swing districts want candidates who will champion real supports and solutions, not run the tired-old political playbook of fearmongering, more police and jails, and turning away newcomers.”

Survey findings show that voters in the two swing districts are not hearing solutions-oriented messages on public safety or immigration from either party, and tend to only hear on these issues from Republicans.

Not only do solutions-oriented messages test better with voters in these districts than tough-on-crime messages, including with independents, but solutions generate greater intensity of support, underscoring their potential to catalyze voter turnout. Solutions also increase voter engagement, with voters saying they would be more likely to vote for candidates who address the roots of crime and support a humane approach to immigration, with a roadmap to citizenship.

New York has particular prominence this election year. It will play a decisive role in determining control of the U.S. House of Representatives and is home to the Senate Majority Leader and Leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus, House Minority Leader and Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, Chair of the House Republican Conference, and a leading presidential candidate.

Lake Research Partners designed and administered the survey by phone to 600 likely voters across New York’s 19th and 22nd Congressional Districts. The survey was conducted March 14 – March 21, 2024 with a margin of error of +/-4.0%.

To read a memo from the pollsters on the surveys’ key findings, visit:


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