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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

McCain says Anti-immigrant Rhetoric Hurting Election Prospects

Senator John McCain has been talking about concerns that the Republican Party's hard-line stance against immigrants is going to hurt election prospects. On Monday, in an interview with National Public Radio, McCain said that there have already been two high profile GOP candidates that lost due to their anti-immigrant stances.

During the interview on Morning Edition, McCain added that “I know that there have been some races, like here in Pennsylvania, where Senator Santorum emphasized that issue [immigration] and lost by a large number.”

We just had a loss of Denny Hastert's seat out in Illinois." McCain said. "The Republican candidate out there, I am told, had very strong anti-immigrant rhetoric also, so I would hope that many of our Republican candidates would understand the political practicalities of this issue.”

With Republicans trying to force a vote on anti-immigrant legislation like the SAVE Act, it is not surprising why McCain and others have concerns that the Republican Party is damaging relations with immigrant communities especially Latinos. The reason for this? An article from McClatchy Newspaper explains

The recent immigration-related efforts in Congress likely will only reinforce the perception held by Latinos that most Republicans aren't in their corner. Furthermore, when Republican candidates for lower offices than the presidency stress hard-line immigration stands this fall-- that also likely will add to the alienation of Latino voters from the GOP.”

Why does this matter? The article goes to say that because Latinos are a crucial voting block, any candidate for office that espouses anti-immigrant sentiment will likely suffer in a close race. And that, we have already seen this play out in the 2006 elections.
In 2006, after Republicans became associated with a tough position on illegal immigration, Latinos voted for Democrats over Republicans by 69 percent to 30 percent. Democrats swept the mid-term elections.”

What about the Election ‘08?

"Energized Latinos could count for as many as 11 million voters in 2008, as voter registration drives gear up around the country."
This is definitely a substantial voting block that could have a real impact on this upcoming election. And though Senator McCain knows this, does the rest in his party want to believe it?

Read the full article here


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