February 3, 2008

REPUBLICANS CARE ABOUT THE LEGALITY, NOT THE IMMIGRANT:

Voters Trust McCain on Immigration (Ruben Navarrette, 2/03/08, Real Clear Politics)

The Hispanic vote went to McCain by an overwhelming margin of almost 4-1. According to exit polls, Hispanics made up 12 percent of Republican voters and, of those Hispanics who voted, 54 percent supported McCain. Romney got 14 percent of the Hispanic vote, despite spending heavily on ads in Spanish-language media. [...]

Since McCain beat Romney overall by just 5 percentage points -- with 36 percent of the vote for the Arizona senator to 31 percent for the former Massachusetts governor -- it's likely that Hispanics contributed significantly to McCain's margin of victory. And among Hispanics, it's also likely that Romney was hurt by his hard line on illegal immigration and McCain helped by his more moderate position, since a majority of Hispanics support allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States in one capacity or another. And, lastly, it seems possible that -- despite Republican voters listing immigration as a top concern -- either they're not taking such concern into the voting booth, or they're not buying attempts by some right-wingers to depict McCain as soft on the issue, or they're just not as fired up about deporting illegal immigrants as you would think from monitoring the conservative media.

Exit polling in Florida showed that nearly 60 percent of voters in that state would allow illegal immigrants to stay as temporary workers or on a path to citizenship. Among Hispanic Republicans, only 20 percent said illegal immigrants should be deported. Forty-three percent said they should be allowed to stay as temporary workers, and one-third said they should have a shot at citizenship.

Other polls from around the country tell us much the same thing -- that, depending on how you ask the question and whether you use words such as "amnesty" or "earned legalization," a majority of Americans support the comprehensive approach that McCain proposed. It's starting to look as if the Republican Party's anti-illegal immigration zealots may represent a loud and obnoxious faction of conservative voters, but a small one at that.


Moving the socially conservative Latino population into the GOP column is key to the realignment of American politics and it is the Reagan/Bush/McCain/Bush wing of the party that will do it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 3, 2008 8:16 AM
Comments

Amnesty. No comprehensive immigration reforms. 1986.

Posted by: ic at February 3, 2008 3:32 PM
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