Well, let’s be complete. In Arizona, a 6-2 GOP congressional majority in 2004 has shifted to a 5-3 Democratic Majority. In 2008, the GOP gained one AZ Senate seat, and two AZ House seats. The statewide offices went to Democrats. For the first time since 1996, the Democrats took control of the powerful Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates securities, railroads, pipelines, rural water, telephones, and utilities.
John Shadegg kept his seat. I doubt whether another Republican could have. Shadegg, of course, favors comprehensive immigration reform (though not the Bush version) — a subject on which he has written at length here. He also endorsed immigration moderate Lisa James over deportation advocate Randy Pullen for State Party Chair.
In neighboring New Mexico, a 2-to-1 Republican majority is now a 3-to-0 Democratic unanimity. The two retiring GOP Congresspersons, Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, were among the handful of GOP legislators who voted against the Sensenbrenner bill (H. 4437) on final passage, and thereby retained significant Hispanic support.
All nine congressional districts on the U.S. Mexico border are now represented by Democrats. As recently as 2004, George W. Bush carried five of them, with considerable Latino support.
If you want to get a realistic idea of what is happening on the border, I suggest you read my “Border Wars,” here.
The notion that immigration hasn’t damaged the G.O.P. in the Southwest is, at this point, delusional.
E-Verify is NOT the point. Hispanics have, and will, vote for a candidate who supports E-Verify. What they will not vote for is a Republican who wants to deport or starve 9 million Hispanics.
You are welcome to your opinions on deportation and on amnesty, John. In truth, these are the alternatives. But you had better understand their electoral implications.
— Richard Nadler is president of the Americas Majority Foundation, a public-policy think tank in Overland Park, Kan.