Speed Reads

midterm season

Immigration is emerging as a top issue in the midterm elections — especially among Republicans

The nation's recent focus on immigration policy has struck a chord with voters.

Immigration is now one of the top issues of interest among people polled by HuffPost and YouGov this week, with 35 percent of voters choosing the topic as one of their top two concerns for the upcoming midterm elections.

Overall, immigration emerged as the number one issue, though Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents chose healthcare and gun policies as their top two. While just 19 percent of blue voters picked immigration as a priority, a whopping 55 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said it was a top concern. The second most popular issue for Republicans was the economy, with 38 percent.

Among both parties, focus on immigration is on the rise. HuffPost reports that in March, 10 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans said it was one of their top issues. The fact that immigration made the overall top two is in stark contrast to a 2016 Pew Research poll, when immigration was not counted even in the top five issues of interest. Back then, the economy and terrorism were the biggest issues, with 84 percent and 80 percent of respondents marking the issues as "very important" to their vote, respectively.

Analysts point out that there are still months to go until the midterms in the fall, and that voters want to hear more from candidates about health care. However, 44 percent said they wanted campaigns to focus even more on immigration, while 11 percent wished they'd say less.

The survey was conducted June 22-24 among a demographically representative 1,000 U.S. adults who were interviewed online. See more survey results at HuffPost.