Now, much has been made of the Republican rout. What does this really mean for the issue of immigration? The retirement of Jeffords means he's going to be replaced by Socialist Bernie Saunders—who despite his explicit leftism, has a track record of greater moderation on the issue of immigration than former Republican Jeffords did. The exit of open borders radical Bill Frist from the Senate opens the chance that someone more moderate will occupy that seat.
The switches in party affiliation we saw in this election came down to the following seats:(with their accompanied grades from Americans for Better Immigration):
Missouri-Talent A Virginia-Allen B Pennsylvania-Santorum B- Montana-Burns C+ Ohio-DeWine D+ Rhode Island-Chafee D-
Now, Talent and Allen are likely to be replaced by Democrats that are fairly moderate on the issue of immigration. Dewine's Democratic oppononent had a more moderate issue on immigration than he did.
Montana's Burns is being replaced by a Democrat who is explicitly opposed to an immigration amnesty. Bob Casey, who defeated Santorum in Pennsylvania promises to be tougher on the issue of employment of illegal aliens than the Republican he defeated. Chafee's Democratic opponent promises to have a similar stands.
I don't think the senate results are a cause for celebration among immigration restriction advocates. Allen's defeat removes almost any possibility than the 2008 GOP presidential candidate will have any realism on the issue of immigration. Everyone left has already been bought and paid for by open borders interests. However, there is a real chance that the new senate will be more willing to tackle things like tougher sanction on employers of illegal aliens.
If Democrats can do that, then I fully expect them to improve their margins in 2008—and if they field a candidate like Al Gore with a more restrictionist track record on immigration, I expect they'll take the presidency.