NumbersUSA`s Roy Beck, in a powerfully written Action Alert to his e-army yesterday, makes the interesting point that, according to last Sunday`s Washington Post/ ABC poll
, when likely Republican voters were asked which candidate, "regardless of who you may support,"
did they "trust most to handle immigration issues,"
47% said McCain, 22% Romney, 10% Huckabee, 5% Paul.
This naturally drives Roy crazy. The heroic band of immigration patriots inside the belly of the Beltway
can`t stand arch-amnestiac McCain (nor can Beltwayites who agree him on the issue, it seems). And not only are the other GOP candidates better on immigration, but Huckabee
have actually signed NumbersUSA`s anti-amnesty pledge - in the case of Paul, sincerely
(NumbersUSA doesn`t post its Action Alerts - you have to sign up
for them - but you can read this one on Larry Auster`s View From The Right here
We`ve already noted this phenomenon of what Roy disgustedly describes as "political illiteracy among Republican voters"
on immigration as it relates to McCain`s record in Iowa
and South Carolina
Exactly the same thing happened in Florida. A remarkable 16% of GOP voters told
the New York Times
exit pollsters that immigration was their top issue, making it the third-highest behind "Terrorism"
(21%) and the economy (45%). (Immigration, of course, to a considerable extent is
an economic issue
). McCain got a quarter of these immigration patriots.
(Paul got a disgraceful 3%).
Even more striking, a remarkable 45% of Florida GOP voters stoutly told the NYT
exit pollers that illegal alien should be "deported to the country they came from"
. (The option of enforcement through attrition
was apparently not offered). And McCain got 26% of them
. (Paul got 4%).
Today, Rasmussen Reports
shows immigration and the economy as as the top (!) issues in California, both named by a remarkable 32% of the overall electorate. Presumably, it`s even hotter among GOP voters. But as I write this, it`s far from clear that McCain`s opponents have succeeed in getting the California electorate to make the connection between immigration and McCain`s appalling record.
Nevertheless, as a battered veteran
of the Second
Great War For Patriotic Immigration Reform, I take a more cheerful view of this situation than Roy. (Of course, I don`t live inside the Beltway).
I remember years when pollsters never asked about immigration at all. (They would explain to us that their politician clients didn`t want to know the answer.) Now, apparently, the issue is irrepressible.
that, as of January 23-24, immigration was the top issue for a heathy 8% of the overall national electorate ("Economy"
got 40%, Iraq 13%. Abortion, in contrast, was nowhere.)
Unmistakeably, immigration is now the rock beneath the water of American politics. If McCain wins and Ron Paul runs as a third party candidate - and I`d guess he will - it could sink the GOP in 2008.
And even if Paul doesn`t take it up - I`d guess he may continue to fumble it, alas - I remain comfortable with my prediction in Alien Nation
(p.199-201): the immigration issue will ultimately break the current party system.
Can`t happen a moment too soon.