Keeping the West in Play

posted by Alan Greenblatt We've been speculating about whether immigration has been overhyped as a potent political issue, which is to say voting issue, even
February 20, 2008

posted by Alan Greenblatt

Immigrationprotest We've been speculating about whether immigration has been overhyped as a potent political issue, which is to say voting issue, even as it's clear that state and local policies toward immigrants have been trending strongly toward get-tougher approaches. The big nose right in front of our face is the fact that John McCain, the one Republican presidential candidate who refused to try to out-tough all his opponents on the issue, ends up as the party's nominee.

As was clear in yesterday's exit polling, McCain continues to struggle with conservatives even as he continues to wrack up primary victories and delegates. But the key, as The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman looks smartly toward the fall, is to examine what kind of impact McCain's stance is likely to have not among the GOP base but among Hispanics. Not everyone Weisman talks to is convinced, but the overall tone of the piece suggests that Democrats shouldn't count on making continued big gains among Hispanics with McCain as the GOP standard-bearer.

For Democrats, 2008 was supposed to be the year of the Mountain West, when three years of relentless Republican attacks on undocumented immigrants would fuel a backlash among Hispanics that would change the playing field in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and perhaps alter the landscape of presidential politics for a generation.

But the emergence of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as the likely standard-bearer for the GOP may have scrambled the equation, cooling a potential political revolt among Hispanics and sending Democrats in search of a new playbook.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Politics