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Analyzing The Votes In Our Defeating the DREAM Act Amnesty in Senate Today

 

Our victory was closer than it looked.

I told our Web Editor Chris Chmielenski after the vote this morning that my body felt like it does when I just missed a terrible car accident in which nothing bad happened at all but I can clearly see how close I came to being killed. 

Yes, the PRO-amnesty folks were 5 votes short of the 60 needed.  But I can pick several NO votes that could've gone the other way.  And if any two had done so -- especially if they had done so a couple of weeks  ago -- at least three other votes would have gone with them and we would have lost. 

The incredible efforts of ordinary citizens like you, communicating with those key Senate offices, saved the country from a nightmare this morning.  

Now, let's look at the individual votes  ( asterisks *** before names means they are Lame Ducks who leave office Jan. 5)  . . .

DEMOCRATS WHO SHOWED WONDERFUL VALOR AND VOTED 'NO' (against the amnesty)

  • (Ark.) Pryor
  • (Mont.) Baucus
  • (Mont.) Tester
  • (Neb.) Ben Nelson
  • (N.C.) Hagan

Where would we be without you activists in Montana?  Congratulations to all of you in those four states for helping these Senators understand the importance of ignoring the appeals of their Party leaders (including the President) to support an amnesty.

  • (W.Va.) Manchin didn't vote but issued a statement that he opposed the DREAM Act amnesty.

All other Democrats voted YES for the amnesty today. 

In a Senate filibuster roll call like this one, the effect of not voting is the same as voting NO.  Sen. Manchin is brand new and takes the seat held close to forever by the late Robert Byrd who was one of our most reliable Democrats to stand for American workers against unfair foreign labor competition.  We are looking to West Virginians to make sure Sen. Manchin continues that tradition (although you didn't succeed with your Sen. Rockefeller  today). 

REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED 'YES' FOR THE AMNESTY

  • (Alaska) Murkowski
  • (Ind.) Lugar
  • *** (Utah) Bennett 

In a Senate filibuster roll call, the effect of not voting is the same as voting NO.  Our whip counting beforehand indicated that the following three were committed to vote NO, even though they didn't end up voting at all.

  • (Ky.) *** Bunning
  • (N.H.) *** Gregg
  • (Utah) Hatch

All other Republicans voted NO against the amnesty.

That accounts for all 100 of the Senators.

The next sections just look at groups of those Senators in a different way. 

WE TRIED TO KEEP THE SUPPORT OF THE 7 CURRENT DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WHO VOTED 'NO' AGAINST THE DREAM AMNESTY IN 2007

Certainly now with unemployment so high, we thought these Democrats should have been even more interested in standing against the amnesty. 

We kept three of them who voted NO today:

  • (Ark.) Pryor
  • (Mont.) Baucus
  • (Mont.) Tester

But we lost 4 of them who voted YES today:

  • (La.) Landrieu
  • (Mo.) McCaskill
  • (N.D.) *** Dorgan
  • (N.D.) Conrad

We're going to have to do a lot of work in North Dakota.  To lose 2 of only 7 Senators because of that one state is really tough.    It was especially disappointing to lose Conrad and McCaskill who will run for re-election in 2012 in states that are trending strongly Republican.  Why were they moved more by the illegal-alien students and by the religious leaders than by the larger constituency?  Did we not have enough effort in North Dakota and Missouri?

OUR TASK AMONG REPUBLICANS WAS NUMERICALLY EVEN BIGGER AS WE SOUGHT TO 'FLIP' 15 SENATORS WHO PREVIOUSLY HAD VOTED AT LEAST ONCE FOR AN AMNESTY

The PRO-amnesty forces put a huge amount of energy into getting another YES vote out of 15 Republicans who had voted for amnesties in the past.

11 of those Republicans had voted for the DREAM amnesty previously.

10 of them had previously voted for the CIR blanket amnesty.

The only thing that could save the country from the passage of the DREAM amnesty today was for the citizens of those 15 Senators' states to have convinced most of them that they were wrong in the past to support an amnesty.

YOU FLIPPED 12 OF THEM (the years they voted for an amnesty are in parentheses):

  • (Ariz.--03 & 07) Kyl
  • (Ariz.--06 & 07) McCain
  • (Iowa--03) Grassley
  • (Kan.--06 & 07) *** Brownback
  • (Maine--06 & 07) Collins
  • (Maine--06 & 07 & 07) Snowe
  • (Ohio--06) Voinovich
  • (S.C.--06 & 07) Graham 
  • (Texas--03) Cornyn
  • (Texas--07) Hutchison

In addition two more who didn't vote today said they would have voted NO against the amnesty:

  • (N.H.--06 & 07) *** Gregg
  • (Utah--07) Hatch

Only 3 of the 15 Republicans who previously voted for an amnesty did so today:

  • (Alaska--06) Murkowski
  • (Ind.--06 & 07 & 07) Lugar
  • (Utah--06 & 07 & 07) *** Bennett

WE DID POORLY AMONG DEMOCRATS FACING RE-ELECTION COMPETITION IN 2012

Our members tried to get their attention by explaining that a vote for an amnesty without enforcement would be a big problem for them during a 2012 campaign while unemployment remains high.

But the only Democrats up for re-election in 2012 who voted against the amnesty that had no enforcement to slow future illegal foreign worker competition were:

  • (Mont.) Tester
  • (Neb.) Nelson

 All of the following 19 Members of the Democratic Caucus provided a big fat amnesty target for Republican challengers in 2012:

  • (Calif.) Feinstein
  • (Conn.) Lieberman (Independent) 
  • (Dela.) Carper 
  • (Fla.) Bill Nelson
  • (Hawaii) Akaka
  • (Md.) Cardin
  • (Mich.) Stabenow
  • (Minn.) Klobuchar
  • (Mo.) McCaskill
  • (N.D.) Conrad
  • (N.J.) Menendez
  • (N.M.) Bingaman
  • (Ohio) Sherrod Brown
  • (Pa.) Casey
  • (R.I.) Whitehouse
  • (Va.) Webb
  • (Vt.) Sanders (Independent)
  • (Wash.) Cantwell
  • (Wis.) Kohl

WE DID GREAT AMONG REPUBLICANS FACING RE-ELECTION COMPETITION IN 2012

Only one voted YES for the amnesty: 

  • (Ind.) Lugar 

 But 7  voted NO against the amnesty:

  • (Ariz.) Kyle
  • (Maine) Snowe
  • (Miss.) Wicker 
  • (Nev.) Ensign 
  • (Tenn.) Corker 
  • (Texas) Hutchison
  • (Wyo.) Barrasso

One didn't vote but announced he opposed the amnesty:

  • (Utah) Hatch

I suspect one of the reasons we did so much better with the smaller group of Republicans facing re-election was that they are more likely to believe that they might face Primary opposition from within their own Party if they support amnesty.

In fact, pro-enforcement Republican members of the Indiana state legislature are already exploring challenging Sen. Lugar in 2012.

We have yet to see a pro-enforcement Democrat speak up about the possibility of challenging  any of the pro-amnesty Democratic incumbents.  But there are a lot of pro-enforcement Democrats in state legislatures around the country.

Knowledge is power.  You who are reading this now know who deserves a challenge and who deserves support on the basis of amnesty voting.   

 ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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