Comprehensive immigration reform would win politically
From the Tennessean
President Obama’s inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election. Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting suggest otherwise, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to support the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado — the election could go to the likely Republican candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney. Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with their March 5 cover story “Yo Decido.” The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. are Hispanic and of legal status.
The Wages of Ideology
From New York Times
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is struggling to fight off a determined effort to replace him in an extraordinary recall election scheduled for June 5. The original reason more than 900,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to get him out of office was his signature on a bill that stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining rights. But, every few weeks, Mr. Walker provides new grounds for becoming the third American governor to be removed by his own electorate. The most recent came last week, when he signed the repeal of a 2009 law allowing the victims of wage discrimination to pursue damages in state court, which is generally easier than filing a federal complaint. The principal reason for the original law was to narrow a significant gap in compensation between men and women. At the time the law was passed, women earned an average of 75 cents for every $1 men earned; by 2010, after the law was passed, the average for women had edged up to about 78 cents.
Why Economic Populism Is a Winning Strategy for Obama
From Ari Berman for The Nation
The centrist Democratic group Third Way has a new report out about “Swing Independents,” who they claim are the Soccer Moms/Reagan Democrats/Rockefeller Republicans of 2012. (I prefer to think of them as the fickle souls who can’t make up their minds.) These Swing Independents, according to Third Way, make up 15 percent of the electorate and currently favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 44 percent to 38 percent. But despite their soft pro-Obama leanings, Third Way argues that Obama’s populist message of economic fairness is turning these voters off. Swing Independents care about “opportunity,” not fairness, prioritize cutting the deficit over reducing income inequality, don’t believe the US economy is skewed to favor the wealthy and “consider themselves to be haves, not part of the have nots,” according to the report. In other words, Obama should cozy up to the banks (as if he hadn’t already), stop campaigning on the “Buffet rule” and make the Bowles-Simpson debt plan the centerpiece of his presidency. (The presidency already tried that strategy for much of 2011, and it didn’t work.)
Romney Ends Primaries in Historically Weak Position
BuzzFeed looks back at CNN polling and finds Mitt Romney will be the only presidential nominee since 1996 who left the primary season with a negative net approval rate. The results: Dole +22, Gore +17, Bush +19, Kerry +17, McCain +19, Obama +18 and Romney -12.
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