[See also: Election 2010—A Grinding Trench Warfare Advance For Immigration Patriots, by Peter Brimelow]
So the Republicans took control of the House, gained a few seats in the Senate, and now control the majority of the governorships in the Country. Hurrah.
But as 12 years with a Republican Congress from 1995 to 2007 show, that doesn't mean much unless we have the right Republicans (or in some cases Democrats) elected.
And in that vein, yesterday's results on the state level were very promising, but the Congressional races were mixed. Here are some of the key races.
With Arizona taking center stage in the immigration debate, immigration became a major state issue during the campaigns. Jan Brewer rode the coattails of SB 1070 to a 13% victory over anti-SB 1070 Democrat Terry Goddard.
Of course the most disappointing defeat was Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's 50-37% victory over Tom Tancredo. I really thought Tancredo would pull it off. Polls seemed to be showing Tom down around 3-5% below Hickenlooper with Republican Dan Maes around 7%. Tancredo got strong endorsements from Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck at the last minute, and I believed that he could have completely peeled off all that support. Unfortunately, Maes managed to command 11% of the vote and the Democrats ended up performing much better than expected in Colorado as a whole. Additionally many voters in Colorado cast their ballots early, before they knew Tancredo was in the running.
Still, it is clear that Tancredo did not "spoil" election for the Republicans, but vice versa. He should come out of this race with a stronger national profile.
Other than Tancredo, however, pro-SB 1070 candidates won handedly. Nathan Deal, someone we can trust based on his record, won the governorship in Georgia by a solid 10%. Other pro-SB 1070 candidates Rick Scott (Florida), Robert Bentley (Alabama), Richard Corbett (Pennsylvania), Nikki Haley (South Carolina), and Bill Haslam (Tennessee) will all be in their respective State Houses next year. (I should also note that the much-vilified lawyer who drafted SB 1070, Kris Kobach, was elected Secretary of State in Kansas).
Next to Tom Tancredo, the biggest disappointment had to be Harry Reid's defeat over Sharron Angle. While I had some mild criticisms over Angle's failure to address legal immigration and occasional pandering, the choice between her and Reid could not be clearer on immigration. Angle made illegal immigration a main focus of her campaign and closed the campaign with an incredibly tough ad.
Reid is one of the few candidates in the election to actually run on his support for amnesty, going as far as forcing a vote on the DREAM Act amnesty right before the election.
NNeedless to say, the propaganda has already begun. La Raza president Janet Murguía has claimed:
"Latino voters sent a loud and clear message this election: We reject the politics of fear and demonization. Where candidates engaged in the shameful scapegoating of immigrants and tactics that transparently disrespected Hispanics, such as in Nevada and Colorado, the response from Hispanic voters was overwhelming."
[Hispanic Rejection Of Anti-Immigrant Campaigning Helps Democrats Keep Senate, National Council of La Raza, November 3, 2010]
(However, the Pew Hispanic Center suggests that Sharron Angle got some 30% of the Hispanic vote, which is squarely within the historic range and about what Fiorino and Whitman got in California. The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections, Pew Research Center Publications, November 3, 2010).
There were some bright spots. John Boozman—with an A+ grade from Numbers USA for his voting record in the House—trounced pro-amnesty Blanche Lincoln, and Rand Paul won by a solid margin. If Boozman simply introduces half the bills he-cosponsored in the House of Representatives, he would easily become the most pro-active immigration patriot in the Senate.
House of Representatives:
Without a doubt, the biggest victory for immigration patriots last night came in the form of Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta's defeat of 13-term incumbent Paul Kanjorski by 10%. Most of the Republican victories came in conservative districts that Bush and McCain carried. In contrast, Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional district is a heavily unionized and Democratic district carried by both Obama and Kerry. Obviously, the Republican wave helped Barletta, but the victory would not be possible were it not for his heroic stand against illegal immigration.
Paul Gosar and David Schweikert both ran on defending SB 1070 and ending birthright citizenship in Arizona and both won easily. (And Jesse Kelly, who is the most anti-establishment immigration patriot in Arizona, is currently trailing Gabrielle Giffords by less than a percentage point, so we must wait and see if he pulls it off.)
Literally dozens of other new congressmen for the 112th Congress made illegal immigration a major issue in their campaign.
So what can we expect from the 112th Congress? Roy Beck at Numbers USA wrote:
"I'm not sure there has been a Congress since 1924 — and certainly not in the last 50 years — that had a membership more interested in reductions in overall illegal and legal immigration than will be the one that was elected yesterday."
[Election Dramatically Shifted Immigration Balance of Power in Congress Toward Enforcement & Reductions, Roy Beck, NumbersUSA, November 3, 2010]
Beck may be right—but that's only because we haven't had any reductions in immigration during that entire period. I don't know of a single winning candidate whose platform mentioned cutting legal immigration.
Dozens of freshman congressman filled out NumbersUSA's survey, which included numerous questions about reducing legal immigration, perfectly. However, I could not find a single winning candidate who actually made any statements or included planks in their platforms about lowering legal immigration.
There were a number of candidates who claimed to be "true reformers" (= but actually called for increasing legal immigration.
Thus Joe Heck who defeated Dana Titus in Nevada stated in his platform:
"Part of this solution also requires fixing and streamlining our nation's bureaucracy to manage the legal immigration infrastructure. For too long the federal government has failed in this area as well. It should not take years or decades for a law-abiding, eligible individual to come to our nation legally."
[Immigration, Heck for Nevada]
In my last article, I argued that Democrat Walt Minnick was a stronger candidate than Puerto Rican Immigration Lawyer Raul Labrador whose platform stated that we should "offer illegals an incentive to come forward."
But Labrador won. And as a Hispanic Republican ostensibly opposed to illegal immigration, he is now poised to become a leader on the issue for the party. Congressional Quarterly already reported on Wednesday morning:
"With more than 15 years of experience as an immigration lawyer, Labrador is likely to make a splash in the immigration debate.
"He has already met with Steve King, currently the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, and says that he expects to be placed on that panel."
[112th Congress: Rául R. Labrador, R-Idaho , by Lauren Smith, CQ Politics, November 3, 2010]
NumbersUSA deserves a great deal of credit for forcing these politicians to signing their names on pledges to reduce legal immigration. This is a first step. But I would not count on the likes of Raul Labrador to do anything to stem the flood of mass immigration, despite what he told NumbersUSA.
However, these new Republicans are by and large opposed to amnesty—even in small chunks like the DREAM Act. And, with the help of some moderate Democrats, there is a small chance they might pass some increases in border security or employer verification.
But unless things change dramatically, it is unlikely that there will be any progress on issues such as increasing deportations or ending birthright citizenship.
Yesterday's election was a step forward for patriotic immigration reform. But we still have a long way to go before we take our country back.
"Washington Watcher" [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.