At Hot Air, Allahpundit records a brutal immigration poll that may help to explain why we are suddenly seeing caution from President Obama. For starters, support for immigration reform per se has diminished since last year:
Last year support for comprehensive immigration reform stood at 54 percent, with just 39 percent support for securing the border. Now the first number is down to 48 percent while the second stands at 47. A border crisis will do that for you.
As for Obama’s taking unilateral action, as IBD notes, the support simply isn’t there:
According to the latest IBD/TIPP poll, 73% of the public say Obama should work with Congress on reforms. Just 22% say he should “sidestep Congress and act on his own using executive orders” — something the president has repeatedly pledged to do…
Another trouble sign for Obama: The age group most fervently opposed to him on immigration is the young voters he has successfully courted in the past. Fully 80% of those age 18 to 24 want him to work with Congress on reform, and just 15% side with Obama’s plan to bypass Congress if they fail to act…
Specific mention of an executive order elicits a similar response. This make any such move likely to hurt, not help, the Democratic party’s attempt to retain control of the Senate. As Greg Sargent argued last week:
Dem hopes for survival rest heavily on turning out the unmarried women who are increasingly key to the Dem coalition but sit out midterms. The way to move them is with a message relentlessly focused onwomen’s economic issues. Any move that allows Republicans to argue Dems are focused on giving jobs to illegal immigrants — however demagogic — risks muddling that message in the minds of voters who arealreadysuffering from economic insecurity. While some argue acting would rev up core Dem groups, Latinos are not a major factor in these races and it might not have any such impact on these unmarried red state women.
Now that it is clear that the Republicans are not going to shut down the government, what exactly does Obama have to gain by acting quickly?