When the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll was publicized in the Post on December 20, the big front-page headline was Bush's approval rating going up again. In the middle of the story, the Post noted counterpoints, such as: "On some key domestic issues, including immigration, Americans remain highly negative about the Bush presidency." Finally, today, the Post publicizes in its paper the actual numbers in a story by Dan Balz:
"The Post-ABC News poll found that four in five Americans think the government is not doing enough to prevent illegal immigration, with three in five saying they strongly hold that view. The same poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe that illegal immigrants have done more to hurt the country than to help it, with 37 percent saying they help the country. About three in five Republicans and a bare majority of Democrats agreed that illegal immigrants are detrimental to the country."
That comes in paragraph 7, in a story published on page A-7. The headline is quite contrary to those results: "Political Splits On Immigration Reflect Voters' Ambivalence." Those poll results don't sound very ambivalent. The Post noted "Border security has become the point of consensus in the debate," while voters are more divided on what to do with illegal aliens already in the country.
It's clear that the battle for the Hispanic voter complicates the political landscape, but it's also clear the Post wants to reduce the strong feeling about illegal immigration into a whisper inside the newspaper.