December 7, 2005

BUT HIS VOTERS WERE PURE:

GOP state lawmaker wins House race in OC (AP, 12/07/05)

California state Sen. John Campbell will succeed Republican Christopher Cox, who represented the Orange County district in the House for 17 years before resigning to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. [...]

With all precincts reporting and absentee ballots counted, Campbell had 41,450 votes, or 45% in unofficial returns, followed by Democratic candidate Steve Young with 25,926 votes, or 28%, in one of the most reliably Republican districts in the nation.

Third-party candidate Jim Gilchrist, a founder of the Minuteman Project border patrol group who made illegal immigration the centerpiece of his campaign, was third with 23,237 votes, or nearly 25%.

The race placed the spotlight on national immigration policy at a time when the issue threatens to divide the GOP.


Speaking of principle, this suggests the impact nativism could have on our politics, not electing any anti-immigrationists but helping Democrats.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 7, 2005 9:22 AM
Comments

Bush the Elder, Ross "Giant Sucking Sound" Perot, and Slick Willy are the perfect example of that dynamic.

But, what if Hillary talks up a Rio Grande wall, couching it as a nat'l security issue ?
Could she capture more nativist voters than she loses pro-illegal-immigrant voters ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 7, 2005 10:16 AM

The government's failure to protect the border has infuriated the middle class since the 1980's at least. The problem is that neither Democrats or Republicans have real credibility on the issue. Both lie to the people and do nothing.

That a single party issue could rack up 25% of the vote in an election is amazing. It shows the people have finally had enough. If some party does not embrace the issue, it will fuel extremists.

I'm betting that the Democrats will have an easier opportunity to jettison the multiculturalists in favor of an open border from their party than the Republicans could get rid of the open border business lobby. I don't know if Hillary could generate credibility on the issue, but some other Democrats, like Bill Richardson, could.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at December 7, 2005 1:40 PM

Even if she did, I think that would be an eventual net gain for Republicans, as it would augment the GOP push for Hispanics and give them a nice majority in a rapidly growing demographic.

Posted by: Timothy at December 7, 2005 1:41 PM

It was a special election. It is dangerous to draw general conclusions from a special election. Highly motivated nuts turn out in special elections. See Paul Hackett v. Jean Schmidt.

Note that Hackett is running for Senate in Ohio and not seeking a rematch against Schmidt. He know that his special election vote was his high water mark.

Posted by: Bob at December 7, 2005 2:19 PM

Timothy

The GOP is making minimum gains with the Mexican portion of the Hispanic vote. Bush was fortunate to get 40% in the last presidential race. It will settle back down to the 35% level in future elections. Regardless, if it is less than 50%, an increasing Hispanic population will be of no benefit to Republicans. If it is 51%, then we can talk.

Posted by: h-man at December 7, 2005 3:53 PM

h:

What makes you think anyone will want to talk to you at that point? Your day has passed already.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2005 3:59 PM

Of course no one needs to talk to me and certainly I didn't mean it in that fashion. Certainly if Mexicans support conservative principles, then I would welcome them as allies.

But I will rephrase the statement to the effect that good politics would suggest that a political party not adopt policies that benefit its political opponents, but rather support its own constituency. To do otherwise is ultimately self defeating.

Mexican voters are consistent in their support of socialist positions in Mexico and in the US. The fact that YOU are hung up on their racial distinctiveness as being a valid reason to ignore that fact is unfortunate, but hopefully you will come to your senses before it's too late.

Posted by: h-man at December 7, 2005 4:56 PM

Yes, we don't want the ones who stay in Mexico, but the ones who leave to become American instead.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2005 5:05 PM

Chris:

Bill Richardson is finished. Kaput.

And with the hard left adopting amnesty, taking a tough stand on immigration will soon be impossible for any Democrat.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 8, 2005 9:21 AM
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