Support for the Democratic approach to immigration reform appears to be in free-fall after this summer’s surge in under-age immigrants. This helps us understand Obama’s sharp pivot away from executive action in the run-up to the mid-terms. The Wall Street Journal:
Republicans seized on the influx to argue that U.S. borders are too porous, and they blamed what they consider to be Democratic leniency toward illegal immigration for persuading children to make the journey.The result: voters’ trust in Democrats has fallen, as has their willingness to consider legalization for undocumented.The new survey finds that 35% of people saying the Republican Party would do a better job on immigration, vs. 27% for Democrats. That represents a big swing from December, when 31% favored Democrats and 26%, Republicans.
But as President Obama gets set to pivoting sharply towards bombing Syria and Iraq—apparently by executive action as well—it’s worth noting that current polling favors bombing ISIS as heavily as it favored immigration reform back in the spring when Obama was all over the issue. One can’t help but wonder whether, if the polls flip again before Christmas, the President’s Middle East policies will also turn around.
All politicians need to take public opinion into account. But one never wants to look too much like one is leading from behind and chasing polls.