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View Diary: National Review: GOP in Deep Doo-Doo (315 comments)

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  •  Brian Bilbray's seat as I recall. Clinton's drop (1+ / 0-)
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    in the polls was partly due to the fact that she seemed to support Driver's Licenses. Spitzer fell from the 50's/60's to the 40's over the issue. Something like 60% of the people in some poll said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported giving illegal immigrants driver's licenses.

    Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

    by tigercourse on Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 10:17:03 AM PST

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    •  Bilbray (1+ / 0-)
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      From what I remember of the aftermath of that election, people perceived the following messages from the candidates: Bilbray would defeat illegal immigration, Busby would clear up ethical problems. They believed that neither would be able to accomplish those goals. Then they voted for Bilbray on general partisan and competence grounds.

      Busby's gaffe was bad more because it made her look weak and stupid than because it turned people against her on immigration. She was a third-tier candidate playing in the big leagues, and that was reflected in the results.

      Now, I don't doubt that these politics play well among Republicans. But it's a lot like gay marriage. It plays very well at the fringes, even for a wide fringe on the right, and many people agree in principle with the harsher view. Yet the people in the middle don't like campaigns centered on that issue and can be actively turned off by meanness. It's only successful in hardcore GOP districts like Bilbray's.

      Neither party has a clear path to dealing with immigration well, but the Republicans have higher expectations from their voters. We just need people to be thinking about other reasons to vote for our candidates.

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