Hillary and Diana: You connect the dots.

A mostly political Weblog.
July 11 2007 3:58 AM

You Connect the Dots!

We just collect them.

(Continued from Page 23)

60? Noam Askew and The Hill and AP have updates on the seemingly close immigration-bill cloture issue. Swing-state Dems Webb, Tester, and McCaskill may be crucial. All have amendments in the hopper that could give them cover to vote for cloture--or would give them cover, anyway, in a pre-Internet fool-the-voters age.** I hope the three swing Dems take a good look at that Greenberg-Carville poll (see below). ... P.S.: Are the "left-leaning" groups said to be pressuring these Dems the fabled "netroots"? I doubt it.  Aren't many netrootsers "Lou Dobbs Democrats?" ...See also: OpenCongress . ...

**--Note that the key cloture vote--if I read OpenCongress correctly--would apparently precede the vote on the amendments, so swing Senators wouldn't know whether their amendments have passed before they vote to shut off debate. True, if their amendments then lose, they can vote against the bill itself--but in that vote the bill only needs a majority (50), not 60. ... 7:35 P.M.

Fire Sale? McCain domain names, on sale cheap (so far) on E-Bay. ... [Tks. to reader M.W.] 7:22 P.M.

Greenberg and Carville Bury the Lede: At the end of the memo summarizing their latest Democracy Corps poll of swing-district voters, they note a striking lack of support for the Senate immigration bill.

Immigration:Immigration reform is an area of great concern for voters in the battleground. Indeed, more than a quarter of voters mention immigration as one of their two most important concerns. Yet, proposals to address this issue garner more support when focused on border control more than legalization. In fact, voters are 22 points more likely to support Congressional proposals focused on increasing border security and stopping illegal immigrants from getting government benefits than one focused on legalization.

We do not find very much voter support for the comprehensive Senate bill. We asked without description (opposed 28 to 47 percent) and with description (45 to 49 percent). After hearing a  description of the immigration reform passed by the Senate, a majority of independents and Republicans oppose the bill while Democrats are torn 47 to 47 percent. [E.A.]

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This is Democratic Greenberg and Carville, remember. Not just  Rasmussen!  ...

Backfill: The actual details of the poll are grimmer for comprehensivists than the Greenberg-Carville summary implies.

--"Illegal immigration" is the #2 concern of these swing-district voters, behind Iraq but ahead of health care and the economy.

-- That "description" of the Senate bill was heavily front-loaded with enforcement language (it begins: "Strengthen border security first ..."). Even so, when the "path for citizenship" (after "paying a fine") and guest-worker program are included, the bill loses 49-45.

--By a 59-37 margin, voters actually disfavor the following statement, despite its enforcement-oriented preamble:

On immigration, we need to get control of the border and bar illegal employment but allow the illegal immigrants who have been here working for a long time to get on a path to citizenship.

Voters preferred a competing statement that would "require illegal immigrants to re-enter the country legally" and bar them from "getting government benefits."

--More than 60 percent of the voters said they'd have "serious doubts" about a Congressperson who voted:

--for "allowing illegal immigrants, who broke our laws, to stay and become citizens, giving them amnesty."

--against "declaring English the official language."

--in favor of "illegal immigrants being permanent residents, who can use our schools, health care system, and also get other benefits."

You get the picture. The wording on some of these questions--especially the first--is loaded, but no more loaded than the likely wording in a campaign TV commercial attacking a Congressman who opened himself up to the charge.

--After all these words and descriptions were floating around in voters' heads, the polltakers again asked about "the comprehensive immigration reform plan being considered by the U.S. Senate." This time it lost by a 22 point margin--a bit more than when voters were asked about it cold.

Upshot: If a swing-state Congressman could be sure of totally controlling the language used in the immigration debate, he might succeed in rendering "comprehensive immigration reform" merely mildly unpopular. If he lost control of the language--as might in a fight with a decently-funded challenger--he could confront a deadly tsunami of opposition on the issue! [Thanks to alert reader S.M.] 2:03 P.M. link

Don't count on the House! Last night I ran into a veteran D.C. Democratic aide/strategist  who confirmed one suspicion about the immigration bill: The House Dems are lowballing the number of votes they have for it. No way they need 70 GOP votes--though that is a number still being reported in the press. ... Senators who vote for the bill thinking the House will kill it are probably deluding themselves ... P.S.: I also suspect there is a certain amount of sandbagging going on with all the House talk about how the bill is going to be broken up  and maybe just the enforcement parts passed, etc. Are they trying to ease the minds of Senate fence-sitters, assuring them the House won't approve anything like the Senate's "Grand Bargain"?  This suspicion is unconfirmed, however. 1:37 P.M.

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