Young Independents find little common ground with GOP candidates

Tuesday’s GOP debate produced by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal was supposed to focus largely on the economy.

And for eight registered Independents convened by Fusion, student debt and job security were important issues.

But in their opinions, too little time was spent on the issues that matter to them, like student loans and job security. Those came at the expense of talk of immigration and foreign policy.

And with one exception, the panelists disagreed with Republican candidates’ largely homogenous stance on getting tougher on the former.

“The real issue is that they’re undocumented,” not that they’re illegal, said Luis, 29.

“Most of these people are law-abiding…They’re coming here escaping gang violence and economic disparities. It isn’t that they’re coming here for a free ticket, they’re coming because they need to be here.”

Reygan, 34, agreed, and said it was unrealistic to think undocumented residents could be deported en masse.

“It’s ridiculous to think we can send that many people out of the country,” she said. “Why not just accept them, and just make sure they’re law-abiding?”

There was no unanimity among the panel about whom they would vote for — and they came in largely undecided.

Sen. Marco Rubio emerged with a plurality, with three supporters.

But more than anything, there was frustration.

“Taxes, immigration, terrorism,” was how Krystna summed up the focus of Tuesday’s debate.

A random list of registered independents aged 18 to 34 were sourced by Bendixen & Amandi International from all over the Miami area. Prospective respondents were contacted randomly, and a diverse sampling of voters were screened to qualify for this research study.

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