Illegal immigration is dominating this race perhaps more than in any other competitive district in the nation. And this race could be a key test of how the immigration issue will play, particularly in border states. Recent polls by the Arizona Daily Star have immigration outdistancing the Iraq war and the economy as most important
So what does the national leadership do?
until a few weeks ago, both national parties were pouring money into this race, seen by Democrats as a must-win in their quest for control. The GOP House campaign committee recently canceled television ad buys in the district, and the Democrats followed suit.
You can see the Democrats' point. Attacking Graf for extremism on immigration in this environment would be tantamount to advertising for him.
The Republican motive?
The National Republican Campaign Committee had backed Graf's primary opponent – state Rep. Steve Huffman. Huffman's views on immigration – and those of the retiring incumbent, Kolbe – are closer to those of President Bush, who wants an immigration bill that includes a guest-worker program and legalization plan for undocumented immigrants
A victory by a serious Immigration reformer campaigning on the issue is too high a price to pay for the Republican controlling clique.
This settles the question of what last week’s unfunded Senate Border Fence vote means. It means the Republican Washington establishment intends to go straight back to the Bush/Kennedy Amnesty/Immigration acceleration bill once the peasantry have voted.
Graf keeps an upside-down picture of Bush in his office to protest the president's position.
That is the right attitude.