Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The snafu costs Hillary

The debacle from the 30 October Democrat debate continues to roll out. Rasmussen has the fresh numbers from that debate and Hillary has dropped ten points from her mistake:

Senator Hillary Clinton’s lead in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary has fallen to its lowest level of the season.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone poll of the state’s Likely Primary Voters shows Clinton leading Senator Barack Obama by ten percentage points, 34% to 24%. Former Senator John Edwards attracts 15% of the vote while New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson earns 8%. No other candidate tops the 3% level of support.

At 34%, Clinton’s current level of support is the lowest measured in any Rasmussen Reports poll this year. Four previous polls in New Hampshire found her consistently in the 37% to 40% range.

This is the first poll of the race conducted since Senator Hillary Clinton’s debate gaffe concerning drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. In the
last poll before that debate, Clinton held a sixteen-point advantage over Obama. A month earlier, Clinton was ahead by twenty-three percentage points.

I know, I know. The poll seems to only be dealing with her comment regarding the drivers licenses. But it's also a reflection that was picked up by The Politico's David Paul Kuhn:

Last week there was a feverish debate following Hillary Clinton’s rhetorical acrobatics over proposals to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Yet it’s the uniform backing of this policy by the leading Democratic presidential candidates that may prove more foreboding for liberals in the general election.

The rising American discontent with illegal immigration has the potential to sever Democrats from the majority of voters — especially those in the working and middle class — like no issue has in four decades. ...

But Democrats have more to lose in the short term over the immigration issue. After all, the vast majority of blacks (76 percent) and whites (86 percent) oppose issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, an October CNN/Opinion Research poll found.

And when a recent Gallup Poll asked Americans what the “top priorities” of the president and Congress should be, combating illegal immigration was topped only by dealing with the war in Iraq.

The real problem for Democrats, however, is that the very voters they need to win back are most concerned over immigration.

Veteran liberal strategists Stan Greenberg, Al Quinlan and James Carville reported last week their finding that the “top issue underlying the discontent” for independent voters is that U.S. borders have been “left unprotected.”

There was no close second. Twice as many independent voters cited border security as a bigger problem than Iraq.

The Democrats’ dilemma goes even deeper as Republicans increasingly tie other, seemingly unrelated, problems of public concern to immigration. Fair or not, drug trafficking and weapons smuggling will be linked rhetorically to an unsecured border with Mexico.

Play the framing game if you want to, but immigration is among the top issues concerning voters, and voters know who pushed the "shamnesty" bill back in June. The Kennedy/McCain bill was the one that was in the attempted jam down, and the Democrats orchestrated a good amount of the support for the bill. Republicans, minus a couple wobbly senators, held the line against the bill's passage.

Democrats do have a serious black eye over this issue. Hillary gave them a second one by not only flip-flopping inside of two minutes, but then adding that the bill should have been passed. Immigration is still a volatile issue, and voters in New Hampshire weren't impressed by her stance, nor are they happy about the lack of focus on the rule of law that the Democrats are plagued with.

Publius II


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