The day before tomorrow’s House Republican internal meeting on immigration, Latino Decisions, America’s Voice, CHIRLA Action Fund and SEIU outlined the opportunities and challenges House Republicans face as they decide how to move forward this year.
Said Professor David Damore, Senior Analyst for Latino Decisions and Associate Professor of Political Science at UNLV:
The conventional wisdom suggests that House Republicans have little incentive to compromise on immigration reform or respond to the preferences of the Latino community. However, a district level analysis suggests that there are a sufficient number of marginal Republican districts where Latino voters are positioned to determine election outcomes in 2014. As a consequence, if House Republicans push hard-line policies or obstruct reform, then the party’s most vulnerable incumbents may be pushed into untenable positions in a manner that endangers the party’s majority in the House.
In new analysis, Latino Decisions outlines key “Latino influence” congressional districts where an incumbent politician’s vote on immigration reform could help decide the outcome in 2014.
The analysis looks at districts where the Latino voting age population exceeds the 2012 margin of victory, as well as swing districts won by both Obama and the House Republican candidate that have a large Latino population. In this analysis, Latino Decisions outlines 14 “tier 1” GOP held seats where Latino voters could decide 2014 outcomes; 10 “tier 2” districts where Latinos are likely to be highly influential; and 20 “tier 3” districts in which Latinos could also play a key role. It would take only 17 seats changing hands for the GOP to lose majority control of the House in 2014, making a potential failure to pass immigration reform quite costly for the GOP even if the majority of House Republicans win reelection with minimal competition.
Said Eliseo Medina, International Secretary Treasurer, SEIU:
This analysis shows once again that immigration choices will have consequences, both good and bad for the Republican Party, and it should give Speaker Boehner a lot to think about before meeting with his caucus tomorrow. House Republicans have a chance to deliver a bipartisan immigration solution that can answer the American public’s call for commonsense immigration reform. And SEIU will do its part to help them make the right decision. We are escalating our field, media and legislative campaign, from polling and launching radio ads to phone-banking and registering voters… we simply aren’t slowing down. Their constituents, including millions of Latino voters and aspiring Americans, and communities across the country are counting on Republican leadership in the House to deliver and leave the politics of the past behind all of us.
Also today, Public Policy Polling (PPP) released new polls in seven swing congressional districts that show broad popular support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship, even among Republican and Independent voters. The Districts polled were: CA-10 (Jeff Denham), CA-21 (David Valadao), CA-31 (Gary Miller), CO-6 (Mike Coffman), MN-2 (John Kline), NV-3 (Joe Heck), and NY-11 (Mike Grimm).
Angelica Salas, Board Chair, CHIRLA Action Fund said:
California is an example of how quickly things can change for Republicans when they scapegoat immigrants rather than supporting good policies. We’re encouraging California Republicans to break away from the pack and fight for their political survival, and demand that their GOP colleagues do the same. We will not take no for an answer. Too many lives are at stake, too many families are at stake. We’re asking for a serious and fair fix.
Latino voters are watching how Democrats and Republicans deal with immigration reform. What they do in 2013 will influence electoral outcomes in 2014, and set the stage for 2016 and beyond. Republicans face an incredible opportunity, which will soon become a challenge if they fail to act. They can schedule a vote on bipartisan immigration reform and pass a law that is the right policy solution for the country, which also happens to be the right political solution for their party. Or they can continue to let the Steve King wing of the GOP define them, and continue to lose elections.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Republicans don’t have a blank check to write whatever policy they want on immigration reform. They have to realize that they are already at a deficit with Latino voters and the only way to crawl out of it is to embrace immigration reform with a full and fair path to citizenship. Blocking reform or pushing for second-class status is not only a bad policy prescription, but it will simply hand Democrats more cards to use against them in future elections. There is a bipartisan majority in the House that would vote for immigration reform tomorrow if the House leadership allowed it to come to a vote. It’s time for the House GOP to rip off the band-aid and get this done.
- Recording of Today’s Call
- Immigration Reform and the House – Full Report; Summary Slide Deck
- Latino Decisions Latino “Presidential Voter” Poll with 2016 Match-Ups
- Public Policy Polling – House Republicans Could Face Voter Backlash if Immigration Reform Stalls