But of course this was a Republican primary debate, and presumably focused on issues of concern to Republican primary voters. Why didn't Rutten give his readers some Pew findings for Republicans, as opposed to all Americans? Could it be because they would show that immigration is indeed a big issue for these voters?
Here's what the "nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center" itself said after the CNN debate:
The first four questions of the night all focused on illegal immigration. In this regard, Pew polling shows that the debate was reflective of the importance of immigration as an issue in the Republican presidential primary.
In an October Pew survey,65% of Republican voters said that immigration was very important to their presidential vote, ranking it sixth out of 16 possible issues. In contrast, while half of Democrats (50%) and a majority of independents (57%) cited immigration as an issue that was very important to their vote, both ranked it near the bottom of their agendas; only three issues were ranked lower: abortion, stem cell research, and gay marriage.
When asked what is the single most important issue facing the nation, 11% of Republicans cited immigration, according to the October survey. As an issue for Republican voters, immigration trails only Iraq (27%) and terrorism (14%) in importance and is viewed as more important than the economy (9%). Only 4% of both Democrats and independents say immigration is the most important problem facing the nation. [E.A.]
Does this mean Pew has been corrupted too? Scary! ...
P.S.--What you mean 'we'? Rutten also declares--discussing a CNN-YouTuber's bible question--that it's
anathema in our system -- to probe people's individual religious consciences. American journalists quite legitimately ask candidates about policy issues -- say, abortion -- that might be influenced by their religious or philosophical convictions. We do not and should not ask them about those convictions themselves. It's nobody's business whether a candidate believes in the virgin birth, whether God gave an oral Torah to Moses at Sinai, whether the Buddha escaped the round of birth and rebirth or whether an angel appeared to Joseph Smith.
I dunno. I tend to think when columnists throw around assertions that some things are "legitimately" done while others "we do not" do, they should maybe offer some actual arguments for why "we do not" do them other than Tim Rutten's vast authority on all matters. I'm quite interested in candidates' "individual religious consciences." They all say religion informs their behavior, so let's find out about it. See, generally, Jacob Weisberg's essay on the relevance of Romney's faith. ...
Backfill.: Rasmussen reports that immigration is the #1 issue in the Iowa race:
Twenty-five percent (25%) of likely caucus participants identified immigration as the most important voting issue. Twenty-one percent (21%) named national security as their top issue while 18% said the economy was most important and 14% ranked the War in Iraq as the top issue- ...