"One candidate favors building a barrier along the Mexican border and forcing illegal aliens to leave the United States. The other candidate favors expanding the ways that foreign workers can legally get jobs in the United States." [Emph. added]
As noted earlier, the barrrier-builder won 46-38%--not surprising, and not a blowout. But the 50% "who say the immigration issue is very important in determining their vote prefer the pro-enforcement candidate by a much larger margin, 67% to 23%." That is lopsided. It "suggests that the short-term political advantage on the immigration issue lies with those who want a tougher enforcement policy," concludes Rasmussen.
At least in the 2006 election--a low-turnout mid-term in which intensity of opinion may be important in prodding voters to show up at the polls**-- the beleaguered House Republicans seem like the ones who benefit from "having only a GOP-written House bill" that stresses enforcement on the table, despite the excessive felony penalties. ... Will the House Dems sense this and at some point pressure the Senate Dems to pass a compromise in order to muddle the issue and give them something to support?
P.S.: A subsequent, richer AP report suggests, reassuringly, Democrats aren't really so stupid as to drink the same MSM-served anti-House Kool-Aid Specter seems to have been sipping.
In private as well as public, Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who heads the party's campaign effort, said they did not want to expose rank-and-file Democrats to votes that would force them to choose between border security and immigrant rights, only to wind up with legislation that would be eviscerated in future negotiations with the House.
In other words, there was a penalty to pay with voters for looking soft, and the Dems chickened out of paying it.That's the advantage to the Dems of killing the deal: Not just that it won them voters who didn't like the House bill. It saved them from voters who didn't like Specter's semi-amnesty bill.
P.P.S: The Kool-Aid flows both ways! Specter may or may not actually believe the press' favorite theory that the House bill hurts the GOPs. But doesn't the press deserve some grief for, revealingly, swallowing Specter and Frist's hype of the bipartisan "breakthrough" deal that, it turned out, didn't have enough support. Here's the initial, now-embarrassing lede of the NYT'sRachel Swarns:
After days of painstaking negotiations, Senate leaders today hammered out a broad, bipartisan compromise that would put the vast majority of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.
Actually ... not!
**-The differential-intensity theory of mid-terms doesn't always work. It failed in the 1998 elections, when the prospect of Clinton's impeachment was supposed to galvanize the GOP's base voters but Republicans actually lost seats. 11:48 P.M.