May 13th, 2010 by Kevin
…but not in the way the Democrats have hoped.
The issue the Democrats were hoping to use as a wedge issue is now looking to become a political pitfall for them. And the shovel that dug that pit, is the Arizona Immigration law. Democrats heavily sold into the idea that by opposing the new legislation. Obama called the bill \”misguided\”. Obama\’s Attorney General is considering challenging the bill, in what would be a rare move by the federal government itself, challenging a state law. Democratic safehavens such as LA and San Fransisco have boycotted Arizona over the the law. The mega-union SEIU has also pledged to boycott Arizona. Sharpton has pledged to defeat the bill. Congressional Democrats called for the elimination of the bill. Senate Democrats also attacked the bill.
But from the very start there were warning signs. Initials polls showed the public, especially in border states, supported the legislation. Initial glances at the bill showed little basis to oppose the bill on legal grounds. In fact, most arguments against the bill merely highlighted the complete failure the Federal government has been on the issue. Yet Democrats moved forward opposing the bill, hoping that they could still make a wedge issue out of this. Now it appears things have taken a turn for the worse for Democrats.
Basically as people learn more about the bill, public approval has grown. The problem, for Democrats, gets worse when you dig into the particulars of the polls. The opinion of Democrats has heavily shifted in favor of the bill. And while Democrats are now evenly split for/against the bill, a large majority of Democrats are supportive of the concept beyond the Arizona bill, which suggests that Democrats are no longer believing their own press. Independents support has grown. And even youth, where support is the lowest, is in favor of the Arizona immigration bill. It\’s become such a problem that opponents are now dropping their attempts to kill the bill through a referendum, since it\’s likely to make the bill even stronger due to overwhelming public support.
So sure, the public supports the Arizona bill, but it\’s a minor issue right? Well, actually the public is increasingly viewing immigration as one of the nation\’s most important issues. In fact, a full 10% call it the nation\’s most important issue, above the economy, jobs, health care, etc.
Democrats have doubled down on the issue in which the public, including independents, has heavily turned against them and the importance of the issue is growing. Immigration will certainly become a wedge issue in 2010….but it\’ll be a wedge issue for Democrats.