That seems pretty dramatic. True, there's a debate about how much of the drop is due to stepped-up enforcement and how much to a decline in construction work. The official PC position appears to be that enforcement can't possibly have anything to do with it.** Still, the drop suggests that border control efforts may have at least as much effect on shaping the future electorate in the long run as attempts by Republicans to win over Mexican-Americans by pursuing McCainesque semi-amnesty proposals. [But illegals don't vote-ed. Their U.S.-born children do. Plus, fewer illegals = less demand for semi-amnesty, no? Which makes it less likely that a whole new group of previously illegal Latino immigrants will ever become voters. Pandering to this now-smaller group of potential future voters in turn bcomes less appealing.]
.**--you see "the border buildup has encouraged more illegal immigrants to employ professional smugglers, whose success rate is higher than that of individuals, according to Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego." OK, but doesn't the cost of hiring a professional itself deter illegal immigration? And are the pros getting less successful--and more expensive? ... 7:21 P.M. link
How grudging and testy is Bob Wright's acceptance of the surge's relative success? (And he wasn't even against it.) ... 1:58 P.M.
Undernews Underanalysis: Still impressive, near-total lack of MSM pickup of the National Enquirer's Edwards scandal allegations.** My guess regarding MSM thinking is 1) Nobody wants to hurt Elizabeth Edwards and 2) Everybody figures that if John Edwards loses in Iowa, there's no reason to mention the story. It will go away and nobody will have to cover it. ... If Edwards wins Iowa, however, that calculus would presumably change.
P.S..: Were the story to break out in the MSM before Iowa, the Edwards camp might react by allowing his popular wife make an impassioned plea for her husband, against sleaze, etc., which would generate considerable sympathy. His support in the caucuses could well go up in the short run. If you don't want Edwards to win--as I don't--it may be best at this point if the story stays undernews until January 4. Which puts me in the same page as the MSM, I think.
In other words, under this theory the worst outcome for Edwards is if the Enquirer account slowly seeps into voter consciousness, but doesn't become known enough for Edwards to be able to profit by making a big deal of it in public (which would have the downside of bringing it to more or less every voter's attention). ... That assumes Edwards remains in contention. Should he fall significantly behind in the polls, then making a big deal out of it becomes a plausible Hail Mary gambit. ...
P.P.S.--Mickey's Assignment Desk: Are the issues of the Enquirer making it to the supermarket stands in Iowa? If anyone's there and can check, I'd love to know. ...