I have easily argued that the immigration fight is not one that the GOP can afford to take on, especially in the mean-spirited manner of the recent past. Doing so will crush them politically. After all, voters who are non-white will be the majority in the United States in the not so distant future, and if the GOP has any desire to be a majority party it will need to adapt to the reality of the times. If the Republicans wish to commit political suicide they will continue with immigrant bashing. I posted that May 2010.
I have been watching with amusement at the way the most conservative elements of the GOP have used immigration for short-term gain. The fact they are sowing seeds that will produce long-term pain for their party, and a continuing legacy of dreadful policy options, seems not to be of concern. As I have stated before I think it essential that the grown-ups (moderates) in the Republican Party again take control of their future.
The latest article on this matter appeared today in the Wall Street Journal by Michael Medved.
…..if Republicans continue to conduct the immigration debate in a way that drives their numbers even lower among Latinos than in 2008, they can’t win. Talking about changing the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, for instance, may bring short-term gains, but it will produce disastrous long-term results in the key voting bloc that is likely to decide the next presidential race.
If the president performs as poorly in the white community as current polls indicate, he will still win an electoral majority as long as he commands the same percentage of nonwhite voters (83%) that he won in 2008. This seems entirely possible, and based on current polls, it looks likely.
The Quinnipiac survey indicates that Mr. Obama still enjoys huge popularity among people of color, winning his trial heat against an unspecified Republican 44 to 1 among blacks (87% to 2%) and nearly 2 to 1 among Latinos (49% to 26%). In other words, the president maintains his near unanimous support in the black community and has dipped only slightly among Hispanics, where he drew a commanding 67% of the vote in 2008.
Only 65% of Latino voters expressed a candidate preference in the survey’s trial heat. That means if Mr. Obama can sway the bulk of the 35% of Latinos who say they “don’t know” or are currently uncommitted, the president will replicate his victory formula from 2008. Undecided Hispanic citizens, representing as many as three million votes in the next election, may hold the balance of power in a competitive race.