In New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the questions about immigration arise repeatedly — and Democratic presidential candidates say they know they are alienating some of their strongest supporters by calling for legalization of illegal aliens.
“It’s a bad vote. It loses you votes. I’ve never found anybody that won on immigration,” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said this month at a town hall forum at New England College.
The issue has received far more attention among Republicans, but Democratic presidential candidates are facing the same polarizing questions.
If the Senate GOP puts forward an agenda on immigration that is supported by at least 41 Republicans, the issue will either be resolved responsibly or rightly become a central part of the election cycle of 2008. But the leadership needs to get it out there and be certain that it has the votes to defend it against the demands from the left for amnesty or amnesty-lite.