The immigration debate is has been very heated in this election cycle and many used it thinking they’d be either put back into office or become the newly elected. Thankfully this did not work because the anti-illegal immigration crowd does not represent the average US citizen. These anti-illegal immigration groups will claim that seventy percent of Americans believe as they do, but these mystery supporters never seem to materialize at the anti-illegal immigration rally or at the polls.
I believe this has a lot to do with that hate speech used by these groups. Many Americans are probably more scared of the hate speech then they are of illegal immigration – as I believe they should be.
Immigrant Issue Can’t Save Republicans – Full Story
Fri Nov 9, 3:00 AM ET
For the second time in as many years, immigration has fizzled as a wedge issue at the polls. In 2006, Republicans hoped to use anger over illegal immigration to maintain control of Congress, but failed miserably, losing races even in states like Arizona and Colorado that have experienced large influxes of illegal aliens.
This year, Virginia Republicans tried the same maneuver in state races, with the same results. The Virginia GOP lost control of the state Senate in Tuesday’s election, with Democrats winning four additional seats in the Senate and netting an additional three in the House of Delegates, despite efforts to rile up voters on the illegal immigration front. In both cases, other issues dominated the election, and there simply weren’t enough voters for whom immigration was the No. 1 issue to roll back an increasingly Democratic electoral tide.
What the Virginia GOP failed to appreciate on the illegal immigration front is the difference between intensity and salience in voter behavior. Some voters are intensely angry about illegal immigration, and they tend to dominate the talk show airwaves and show up at candidate gatherings. But the number of voters for whom this is the single biggest voting issue is relatively small.