In a new wide-ranging poll on immigration, Idaho Politics Weekly finds that more than two-thirds of Idahoans want more legal immigrants allowed in to work the farms, a majority want more immigrants to work in high-tech, skilled jobs, and most want to give legal status to undocumented workers.

The results show that most Idahoans have an accommodating, even a compassionate, attitude toward immigrants seeking work and the making of a better life in the U.S.

The new poll was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates of 601 adults from May 20-to-May 28.

It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percent.

Jones asked if the U.S. should increase the number of visas for skilled workers in high-tech industries:

  • 54 percent support that idea, 40 percent oppose and 6 percent don’t know.

Should we increase the number of immigrants legally admitted into the U.S. for farm work:

  • 69 percent said yes, 26 percent said no, and 6 percent didn’t know.

Should we provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants:

  • 51 percent support such an idea, 44 percent oppose it, and 5 percent don’t know.

Jones also asked a question about military spending and about the U.S. invasion of Iraq – those answers are below.

But first, the poll results on immigration are interesting, especially when the respondents’ answers are broken out along political lines.

For example, Idaho Republicans like the idea of giving more visas to high-tech working immigrants, but they love the idea of more immigrant farm workers.

And most oppose giving legal status to undocumented immigrants.

Jones finds:

  • 51 percent of Republicans say more visas for high-tech workers, 42 percent oppose and 4 percent don’t know.
  • 79 percent of Republicans say allow in more immigrant farm workers, only 18 percent say no, and 5 percent don’t know.
  • 51 percent of Republicans OPPOSE giving legal status to undocumented workers, 46 percent support that idea, and 5 percent don’t know.

Democrats and those who said they don’t belong to any political party – political independents – all support the three immigration ideas Jones put to them:

  • Democrats support more high-tech worker immigrants, 61-33 percent; they support more immigrant farm workers, 55-38 percent; and they support legal status for undocumented immigrants, 63-31 percent.
  • Independents support more high-tech worker immigrants, 59-34 percent; more immigrant farm workers, 65-30 percent; and giving legal status to undocumented workers, 58-37 percent.

The final two questions show a more hawkish Idaho.

Asked if the spending on the U.S. military is too much, about right, or too little, a plurality of Idahoans said we should be spending more on our military.

  • Spending too much on our military – 23 percent.
  • Spending about right – 26 percent.
  • Spending too little on our military – 44 percent.
  • Don’t know – 7 percent.

Republicans really think we should be spending more – 62 percent said so. Only 11 percent said we are spending too much and 24 percent of Republicans said we are spending “about right.”

Only 18 percent of Democrats said we’re spending too little on our military; 39 percent said spending about right; and 39 percent said we spending too much.

Political independents break out like this: 36 percent spending too little; 22 percent spending about right; and 31 percent said we’re spending too much.

Several weeks ago former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, younger brother of former President George Bush – who invaded Iraq in 2003 leading to one of the longest wars in U.S. history – flubbed over several days media reporters’ questions on the Iraq war.

Jeb Bush is expected to announce his GOP bid for the presidency any day now.

So Jones asked Idahoans: “Knowing what you know now, do you support or oppose President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003?”

He found that 47 percent support the Iraqi war, 44 percent oppose, and 8 percent don’t know.

Republicans support the war, 70-25 percent; Democrats oppose the war, 73-18 percent; and independents oppose the war, 55-38 percent.