At a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Pres. Obama said it would be political "suicide" for Republicans not to embrace a mass amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, and he reinforced plans to move forward with a large-scale executive action that would grant amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal aliens after the November elections.
"[T]he demographics of the country are such where you are going to lose an entire generation of immigrants who are looking around and saying, 'You know what? That party doesn't seem to care much about me.'"-- Pres. Obama
Pres. Obama failed to recognize that the GOP Leadership already mostly agrees with him on immigration. Had it not been for a few courageous Members in Congress and massive resistance from voters, the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill would have sailed through the House and been signed into law.
A number of Senate races this year strongly contradict Pres. Obama's insistence that opposing amnesty harms a candidate.
** In Alaska, Dan Sullivan has a 5-point edge over incumbent Mark Begich, but that hasn't always been the case. Begich enjoyed a comfortable lead heading into September, but then cast the final vote to save Pres. Obama's executive amnesty. Sullivan ran ads attacking Begich for the vote, and the race has since turned in his favor.
** In Kansas, Independent candidate Greg Orman enjoyed a 10-point lead over GOP incumbent Pat Roberts. But during a debate earlier this week, Orman expressed support for the Gang of Eight amnesty bill. Roberts, who voted against it, has now caught and passed Orman in the polls according to both FoxNews and CNN polling.
** In Kentucky, the Sen. Mitch McConnell was in a dead heat with challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes heading into September. But McConnell then began running ads connecting Grimes to Pres. Obama on immigration. The race is still close, but there are signs that McConnell could be pulling away.
** In New Hampshire, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen held a comfortable lead mid-summer over challenger Scott Brown. Brown then ran a series of ads attacking Shaheen for her support of amnesty and votes against border security, forcing Shaheen to vote against Pres. Obama's executive amnesty in the Senate. Brown still has some ground to make up, but he's cut the lead in half.
** In both Arkansas and Louisiana, GOP challengers Tom Cotton and Bill Cassidy have consistently noted Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu's support for the Gang of Eight bill. Both have enjoyed steady leads in the polls.
Not all GOP Senate candidates are talking about immigration -- most notably, Thom Tillis in North Carolina. Incumbent Kay Hagan supported the Gang of Eight bill, but Tillis shares a similar position. During the height of the border surge, the race narrowed and even swung in Tillis' direction, but he still refrained from using the issue to draw a contrast with Hagan and has once again fallen behind in the polls.
(NumbersUSA is strictly non-partisan, with no preference for one party, one candidate or another. These examples are not endorsements, but demonstrate how the immigration issue has played a role in campaigns.)
Pres. Obama wants Republicans to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and double legal immigration, but polling shows that this position is unpopular with voters. In August, "the polling company/WomanTrend" found that three-quarters of voters think the U.S. should hand out fewer green cards each year, and 75% want more enforcement of our immigration laws, including 63% of Hispanic voters. On the issue of Pres. Obama's planned executive amnesty, Americans oppose by a 3-to-1 margin, including 56% of Democrats.
There are dozens of issues outside of immigration that will help shape the mid-term election results, but early signs seem to indicate that more enforcement and less legal immigration is the winning argument. Just maybe it's Pres. Obama and the GOP Establishment who are committing political "suicide".
For a comparison of candidates for all the mid-term elections this fall, see our Candidate Comparison pages.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Oct 29th 2014 @ 1:55pm EDT