Immigration and the economy have remained as the top issues among registered voters, based on new polling data.


According to GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications' poll for The Associated Press, more people have viewed immigration as important compared to earlier this year. With 57 percent, survey respondents said immigration is "extremely/very important," which is an increase from 52 percent from polling numbers released in early February. The opinion that immigration is "slightly/not at all important" declined from 20 percent to 16 percent.

President Barack Obama's handling of immigration has not been viewed in a positive light by poll respondents. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's handling of immigration, a slight increase from 56 percent earlier this year. Opinion approving Obama's handling of immigration was unchanged at 42 percent.

Polling numbers are mixed on which major political party would do a better job on immigration. Democrats received slightly better support on handling immigration with 30 percent, while the Republican Party received 26 percent; however, "neither" received a higher rate with 29 percent.

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Roughly 87 percent of Americans in the poll said the economy was extremely important for Americans, while 3 percent said it was "slightly/not at all important." More people disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy than approved with 53 percent to 46 percent, respectively. Respondents narrowly trust Democrats on handling the economy than Republicans, specifically with 30 percent to 27 percent, respectively. "Neither" political party received 27 percent on handling the economy.

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Presidential Approval vs. Congressional Approval Rating:

Fifty-five percent of Americans said they disapprove of Obama's handling as president, while 45 percent showed approval. Obama's job approval rating was higher compared to congressional approval, which stood at 19 percent, an increase from 15 percent earlier this year. Congress received a higher disapproval rating with 80 percent, although it is a decline from 83 percent earlier this year.

Favorable Ratings:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama received the highest favorable rating, tied at 46 percent. Clinton and Obama were double-digits ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who received 29 percent for third place. Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tied at 23 percent to round up the top five favorable rating.

Unfavorable Ratings:

While Obama and Clinton received the highest favorable rating, they also received the highest unfavorable rating. Obama received a 46 percent unfavorable rating, ahead of Clinton's 41 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie placed third with a 40 percent unfavorable rating. Bush placed fourth place with 36 percent, ahead of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's 33 percent.

According to GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, 15 percent of the 1,077 respondents were Hispanic, while whites accounted for 66 percent and blacks were at 11 percent. The poll was conducted between April 23 and April 27, with adults ages 18 and older participating.

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