Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Voting on immigration

I would never have thought I would be interested in a Utah congressional primary involving two bland conservative Republicans, but here I am. They differ only on immigration, and so will affect the way in which Republicans deal with the issue.

Tad Walch, a reporter with the Deseret Morning News in Provo, said the race has generated "a lot of interest nationally."

"People do see this as a situation where if Cannon were to lose, it would be the final nail in the coffin -- the death knell, if you would, of guest worker programs," Walch said

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush recorded automated phone calls sent to voters across the district to try and drum up support for Cannon in what is expected to be a low-turnout contest.

On the other side, the Team America Political Action Committee dropped $50,000 into an ad played widely on talk radio blasting Cannon's immigration record: "A vote for John Jacob is a vote for cleaning up the immigration mess Chris Cannon helped make."

In this case, the primary winner will be elected, because Democrats just don’t win in that district. However, it could be a test case for how Republicans feel they should address swing congressional districts where immigration may be relevant.

These two candidates look almost identical, so I believe I am rooting for the guy with a little more hair (see photo in the article).


MSS 9:16 PM  

How can a safe district be a test case for swing districts?

That is, it's not at all clear to me that there can be any lessons in this contest for the rest of the country. Nor is it clear to me that districts with more independents and Democrats in them can be considered to have fewer voters who can be won by 'enforcement-only' messages.

I just don't think 'enforcement only' politics is primarily about the base.

Greg Weeks 6:06 AM  

Not primarily about the base, but there is an intense debate within the Republican party about what the base wants, and I think that even primaries like this one are considered significant.

I think this is worthy of more discussion--after my trip I'll get back to it.

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