"We're finding nationally that this is one issue the Republicans can use without bringing up the president," said Jim Moore, who teaches political science at Pacific University.
This shrewd insight into the dynamics of the immigration issue this year comes in Immigration issue gaining force in election campaign By Joseph B. Frazier The Associated Press 10/24/2006
In Oregon, apparently, the surprisingly competitive Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Ron Saxton, used the issue in his primary, and now
It's back with new spin and energy in the tight race between Saxton and Gov. Ted Kulongoski…Kulongoski, who had skirted the issue, now stresses tougher sanctions against employers who hire and exploit illegal immigrants and says he is leading the state toward a federal move to deny licenses to undocumented residents. A new campaign flyer said he has authorized the Oregon National Guard to send volunteers to guard the Mexican border.
The system works! As Professor Moore astutely says:
"The Democrats are seeing this as an issue that could cause problems and are fighting back in the traditional way by saying 'yes, we do that too.' " Now, Moore said, "everybody is saying there's a problem. If you don't, you're going to lose elections. Nobody wants to be seen as basically saying foreigners can come in and have a major role in the community."
Oregon, of course is a liberal and agri-business state. The Establishment there wants nothing said about the issue – as the slant of the AP story makes clear. The Congressional Delegation’s record - D+ - is appalling. But the natives are restive.
Over in Virginia, where perhaps there is a longer tradition of analyzing politics ethnically, things are more advanced. Bloomberg News deviated last week from its founder’s predilections to proclaim Drake Runs Away From Bush on Immigration to Rally Republicans –By Nicholas Johnston October 18 2006
Three weeks before the midterm elections, House Republicans in states far from the Mexican border are stressing their tough stance on immigration — and opposition to plans backed by President George W. Bush and senators of both parties — to rally supporters and help protect their congressional majority…Republican Thelma Drake, is one of them…Drake says her emphasis on immigration is an accurate reflection of her constituents' concerns. 'It's the issue that we hear the most about,'' she said in an interview before a campaign rally in Virginia Beach.
Her chief of staff supplies a comment which, coming from a political professional deserves to be considered:
...chief of staff, Tom Gordy, said that in the past year her office has received about 4,000 letters from constituents clamoring for tougher border security and enforcement of immigration laws…''The intensity of the letters is unlike anything I've ever seen,''
The Washington Republicans don’t want to know. The MSM prefers that the election be about the surprising fact that financial and moral corruption exists in Congress.
But thinking elements of the electorate see the real issue - and some alert politicians have noticed.