Support for a path to citizenship is a bigger problem for would-be Republican candidates than support for the Iraq War is among Democrats
Former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee has blasted Hillary Clinton, the current frontrunner to become the Democratic presidential candidate, for her support of the Iraq War, saying that her vote in favor of the war in 2003 disqualified her from the White House. This is not the first time that Hillary Clinton's support for invading Iraq has proven to be a political liability, as one of Barack Obama's advantages in the 2008 Democratic primaries was her record of backing the war. Among Republicans Marco Rubio's support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants also risks alienating large parts of the Republican primary electorate.
YouGov's latest research shows that, when it comes to stances on some of the most divisive political issues of recent years, taking the wrong stance on climate change is the most likely to result in people saying a candidate is mostly or totally unacceptable. 32% say that a candidate who doubts the existence of man made climate change is 'totally unacceptable', while 28% say that such a candidate is 'mostly unacceptable'. A third of Americans (34%) regard a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage as totally unacceptable, the highest figure for any issue. The position most likely to be regarded as acceptable, by 55% of Americans, is if a candidate supported the Iraq War in 2005. Only 15% of Americans think it is 'totally unacceptable' for a candidate to have supported the Iraq War.
Predictably, there is a significant partisan divide on what does or does not make a candidate unacceptable.
90% of Republicans say that supporting Obamacare would make a candidate unacceptable, while 84% of Democrats say that doubting man made climate change would do the same.
When it comes to Iraq, 57% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans say that support in 2003 makes a candidate unacceptable, but only 19% of Democrats think that a candidate who supported the war then (for example Hillary Clinton) is totally unacceptable.
73% of Republicans say that supporting a path to citizenship, as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush do and Scott Walker once did, makes a candidate unacceptable, though only 35% say that a candidate who supports a path to citizenship is totally unacceptable.