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The Hotline’s Take on the 48th

Wednesday, December 7, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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From today’s Hotline:

Don’t Believe The Hype?

Is “immigration” the great overlooked issue that is ready to shoot up the “importance” chart? Or is it simply the obsession of a passionate, and vocal, minority of GOPers?
— The results out of immigration’s first big electoral test in CA 48 seem to favor the latter. Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist (I) spent approx $500K (nearly 4 times the Dem nominee), was covered in the media as if he were the chief challenger to eventual winner John Campbell (R) and was running in one of the most immigration-focused CDs (the O.C.).
— And yet, Gilchrist finished 3rd with 25%, trailing a Dem nominee who couldn’t even top 10% in the 1st round of voting.
— We have yet to see a nat’l poll showing immigration topping double-digits in importance, and anecdotal evidence tells us Jerry Kilgore’s immigration hit didn’t impact swing voters in VA GOV. Clearly, it’s important to a vocal segment of GOPers, but whether it’s an issue that moves swing voters is up for debate. Could THE lawmakers hearing so much about immigration be falling victim to a minority of constituents who just happen to show up to town meetings?

Bad analysis by the Hotline editors. The issues surrounding border security are real and do resonate with voters, but the new Congressman, John Campbell, addressed those issues every day of the campaign and walked away with the race despite the huge effort by the Gilchrist forces and the round-the-clock pumping of Gilchrist by local talk radio pot-and-pan bangers who tried unsuccessfully to distort Campbell’s very strong positions. Had Campbell not been very solid on these issues, he’d have had a much tougher race. Message to GOP: Be very strong on border security and stay far away from amnesty.

Message to monomaniacal talk radio hosts: You can’t fool even a quarter of the people half of the time. Voters know who is strong on the border, and on all the other crucial issues, esepcially the war, as well.

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