A Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa Democratic caucus goers, released on November 25th, found a competitive race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with Clinton leading the race 51 percent to 42 percent over Sanders. Beyond the horse race numbers, the poll also revealed an important truth about Democratic voters.
While Republicans are cowering in fear over the prospects of Syrian refugees settling in the United States, Democrats are overwhelmingly in favor of welcoming the refugees. 81 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers support accepting Syrian refugees into the United States, compared to just 13 percent who oppose accepting the refugees.
The welcoming spirit of Iowa Democrats contrasts with the fearful approach being taken by many Americans in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. A recent Bloomberg Politics poll, for example, found that 53 percent of Americans wanted to reject all Syrian refugees, and an additional 11 percent wanted to admit only Christian refugees.
The Democrats’ approach to the refugee crisis stands in sharp contrast to the hysteria being drummed up by Republican politicians, who have exploited fears of terrorism to whip up anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment. To their credit, all three Democratic presidential candidates have expressed their desire to continue to admit refugees into the United States. That position aligns well with Iowa Democrats, who are committed to the same position.
President Obama has also staunchly defended the policy of allowing refugees to enter the country. Many House Democrats caved to fear and opposed the resettlement, but those nervous Democrats are a minority within their party. As Iowa Democrats have made clear, the activists who are willing to attend precinct caucuses to determine the future of the party, are strongly in favor of an inclusive America that does not shut its doors on refugees in need.
Democrats who favor refugee entry, will be well served by any of the current Democratic presidential contenders. Democrats will continue to push for an inclusive America, and Iowa Democrats will lead the way when they cast their votes in the nation’s first presidential caucuses.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.