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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

KOS: IMMIGRATION POSITIONS WILL COST CALIFORNIA SENATE AND GOVERNOR RACES

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Markos Moulitsas, the prominent left of center blogger, writes in the Hill:

Once promising, the GOP's designs on the Golden State governor's mansion and Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat are now running aground on a serious, self-imposed obstacle -- the months of anti-immigrant rhetoric voiced by their candidates in this immigrant-rich state.

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman began the campaign as an immigration moderate, but veered to the right in order to win her party's nomination.

"Let me be very clear: I am 100 percent against amnesty, no exceptions," she said. "[U]ntil we actually do secure the border and actually stop illegal immigration, we can't talk about any other solutions, and I am 100 percent against amnesty."

Reinforcing her harsh views on immigration, Whitman's campaign chairman is former Gov. Pete Wilson -- the architect of the hateful and hated anti-immigrant Proposition 187. 

Carly Fiorina, the former HP boss who is the GOP nominee for Senator is even more strident in her rhetoric:

Responding to Democratic
attacks on the racist Arizona anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, Fiorina
said she was "outraged" at what she saw as the vilification of Arizona
and a law she strongly supported. 

***

Fiorina
doesn't worry too much about them, as she told Fox News: "When I talk
with members of the Latino community ... what they say to me is, you know
what, this is a question of criminals crossing the border." Of course,
it's not. Not in the real world, anyway. A bipartisan survey for
America's Voice conducted by Lake Research (D) and Public Opinion
Strategies (R) found that while 60 percent of Americans supported
Arizona's anti-immigrant law, with 23 opposing, the numbers were 35-55
percent among Latinos.

Kos points out that between 2000 and 2008, Latino turnout in California has grown 85% increasing from 1.6 million voters to nearly 3 million. That's more than 1/5 of all voters.

Whitman has apparently figured out that her immigration position will doom her campaign and has started trying to move back to the center. She's running ads in Spanish during World Cup matches claiming to care about the needs of the Latino community. Democrats are paying to translate and re-run her earlier anti-immigrant ads in Spanish, something that is probably a first in American politics as far as I know.

Fiorina has already given up. 

California is starting to look like other purple and blue states where Republicans were in the untenable position of having to go too far to the right in order to secure their nominations and then cannot credibly move back to the left in order to appeal to the mainstream electorate. In a year when the GOP should be seeing big gains, they are stuck with a pool of candidates that is far from ideal.

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  1. Jack's Avatar
    "Once promising, the GOP's designs on the Golden State governor's mansion and Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat are now running aground on a serious, self-imposed obstacle -- the months of anti-immigrant rhetoric voiced by their candidates in this immigrant-rich state."

    Are there polls that show Meg trending downward in the general election match up once she started moving toward stricter enforcement? If they exist, do those polls ask about why you are not supporting Whitman or supporting Brown? By not citing anything, 'Kos' just looks like he's speculating (to put it nicely). The major attack ads on Meg are focused on her Wall Street connections, not immigration.


    "Let me be very clear: I am 100 percent against amnesty..."

    Isn't that the formal position of every politician, even the most extreme anti-enforcement ones?

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