When Pandering Doesn't Work--Immigrant Bashing Fails in Iowa

Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, points out that scary brown people aren't nearly as scary as immigrant bashers would like you to think:

 

 The results are in. In a state where voters had a clear choice to vote for Romney's tough stance on illegal immigration in the Republican caucuses, they instead turned out in historic numbers to vote Democratic. There they picked Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has unabashedly advocated an earned path to citizenship for the undocumented.

   On the Republican side, Romney, despite his overwhelming funding advantage, came up short. University of Iowa polls showed that 57 percent of Iowa voters favored earned citizenship for the undocumented and only 23 percent favored deportation.

   This is consistent with national polling. In 20 of 22 separate public opinion polls conducted between March and December, somewhere between 55 percent and 83 percent of the respondents favored some form of earned legal status. In the remaining two polls, the majority favored this option.

   Immigrant bashing just does not move votes. The 2006 elections were a disaster for anti-immigrant demagoguery. Not only did the issue fail to stave off the Republican loss of the House and Senate, but leading Republican anti-immigrant campaigners such as Reps. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona and John Hostettler of Indiana and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania all lost their races. And in a telling portent of the future, Latino support for the GOP dropped to 26 percent from 44 percent.

While addressing immigration is necessary given the utter incompetence carried over from the INS to Homeland Security, it's not an issue that is going to deliver a national election or take a good lead and turn it into a loss. It does matter on the periphery of elections and certainly if you are in a close election, it can hurt a candidate who isn't bashing. At some point you have to stand up and do the right thing though and there are a lot of positive ways to address the issue and still win.

More than anything, the Democratic Party's future is going to rely on building a base for constructive immigration reform.

But even in the party where the issue is hot, the guy who is relatively moderate took a greater percentage of the vote for those who thought the issue was important than did Romney.

After the jump, an e-mail from the Americans for Legal Immigration--a fine example of hysteria about brown people

   

Friends of ALIPAC,

   We did the best we could in Iowa to warn GOP voters about Huckabee's hidden amnesty.

   Tonight the results are showing a clear win for the Huckster in Iowa.

   While many Iowans heard our message by automated call and about 15 minutes of radio ads, they were very likely puzzled.

   How could it be that if Mike Huckabee really said he had a plan for theillegals to leave and be back in days, that it wouldn't be in thenewspapers? Wouldn't it have been reported on Fox news and CNN? Wouldn't that information be in the candidate commercials?

   The truth, to our knowledge, is that no major network covered the story and no newspaper in Iowa covered the story. The only newspaper in the nation to cover it was the Washington Times. Even the Lou Dobbs Show failed to warn Iowa voters about the Huckabee 'back in a day' amnesty.

   So, as we spent our few thousand dollars amongst the millions of dollars being spent to influence the campaigns and unfortunately the failure of the Main Stream Media to do their job as the guardian of our Republic was to much for us overcome.

   We were able to get the word out in certain places, however, the corporate media shielded the Huckster on this one.

   We know the truth. We have watched the Fox video from Dec 9 with Huckabee's comments and we know the Pence Plan and the Cornyn & Kyle bill which contained the same thing Huckabee wants.

   Another conflicting factor is that GOP voters did not have many directions to take their votes to a perceived front runner, since McCain and Guiliani are known amnesty supporters. Both of these candidates did not fare well in Iowa.

   We want everyone to keep in mind that we are fighting our elite adversaries on their turf. We have pushed this issue and this cause right up on the doorstep of the most expensive office on the planet!

   We are eating them alive in the states and towns! We defeated them in the Senate, where they thought they could not be beat! Now they have most of their cards in the Presidential races, where their extreme wealth has the best chance of influencing the outcome of the races. So many of you gave generously and worked very hard on this effort in Iowa and we want to thank you from our hearts.

   While ALIPAC has enjoyed a great success rate with many other campaigns before now, this one did not go our way. There are so many things which influence the outcome of campaigns that are simply beyond anyones control.

   The truth is that our supporters did an excellent job on this effort. We fought smart and efficiently. We fought very well as a team. Most importantly, we fought on behalf of the truth against anopposition strong hold deep in enemy territory.

   The Open Borders Lobby is not happy that this issue is on fire and they are having to go to such elaborate measures to try and securetheir agenda.

   We will take what we learned from this effort and use it to become even stronger.

   We have picked up many new supporters during the course of this effort.
    Each week we get stronger and our numbers grow.

   We will stay the course and many battles will be won and lost.

   We will have future victories, perhaps in the states, Congressional Campaigns, and campaigns for US Senate.

   Win or lose, we will trudge forward with resolve and absolute determination.

   Let us pray for guidance and lose a round with the same grace we would display in victory.

   Our eyes remain fixed on the objective we share to save this nation, reverse illegal immigration, restore the Rule of Law, and restore the American Republic.

   Thank you all for your hard work and sacrifice.

   William Gheen

   &

   The ALIPAC Team

These clowns are going to keep hitting this issue all cycle. And they are going to continue to look like Wile E. Coyote after running off the cliff.

Tags: Huckabee, immigration, Iowa, Romney (all tags)

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