AMERICAN MAINSTREAM REJECTS ARIZONA MEASURE, DOESN’T IT?…. It’s awfully difficult to defend Arizona’s draconian immigration measure. Most Republicans won’t even try, and some GOP leaders have even condemned it. Today, a Republican congressman from Florida went so far as to compare it to fascism.

Democrats have blasted the new law. Churches have condemned it. Editorial boards have slammed it. It’s become a frightening example of far-right excess.

And yet, there are poll results like these.

Americans familiar with Arizona’s tough, new immigration law tend to favor it, a new poll found.

51 percent of those who have heard of Arizona’s new law to crack down illegal immigration said they generally favor it, a new Gallup Poll found Thursday. 39 of those who have heard of the law opposed it, while 11 percent were unsure.

I find this very hard to believe, not because Gallup is unreliable, but because I like to think the American character is decent and strong, and would resist efforts like these.

Broadly speaking, Gallup asked all respondents for their reactions to the Arizona law. Nationwide, a plurality of 39% support it, 30% opposite it, and 31% had no opinion or had not heard of it.

But specifically among those who said they’d heard about the state measure, a majority approve of the law. That includes 50% of self-identified independents, and a whopping 75% of self-identified Republicans. A majority of Democrats (56%) disapprove of the Arizona law.

All I can do is hope that most the poll’s respondents were confused, didn’t understand the question, or lied about understanding what the law actually is.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.