Following an election that highlighted the critical Latino vote, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that most Americans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The poll showed that 57 percent of Americans support a path for citizenship, while 39 percent opposed such a policy. The results have remained unchanged since the last time this question was asked in mid-2010. Since then, the Obama administration has made it easier for illegal immigrants to earn work permits, though it has not addressed citizenship directly.
Among the Hispanics polled 82 percent supported a path to citizenship, while 71 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of young adults showed support. Among white respondents, the number fell to 51 percent.
Several high-profile Republicans have said in recent days that the GOP needs to do a better job at reaching out to Latino voters, pledging to look into new immigration policies. President Obama has also said immigration reform is one of his top second-term priorities. The president won 71 percent of Latino voters, compared to 27 percent for Mitt Romney.
In addition, the poll looked at two other controversial social issues: same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana. The poll showed that 51 percent support same-sex marriage, while 47 percent are opposed. The support for same-sex marriage was as low as 32 percent in mid-2004.
Young adults led the way on the issue, with six-in-10 supporting same-sex marriage, while two-thirds of senior citizens opposed it. Maryland, Maine and Washington State legalized same-sex marriage at the polls last week, while Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional ban on it.
On marijuana legalization, Americans are generally split, with 48 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving, the poll showed. However, the poll marks a new high for support on the issue since this question was asked in 1985. Voters in Colorado, Washington State and Massachusetts relaxed restrictions on marijuana last Tuesday.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted between Nov. 7 and Nov. 11 among 1,023 adults. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.