Shock poll: Bush’s support on immigration crumbles among Republicans

posted at 9:40 am on June 4, 2007 by Allahpundit

The shock is that the numbers are as high as they are. What does he have to say or do to alienate the other 45%?

Fewer than half of Republicans, 45 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, now approve of how Bush is handling immigration, down from 61 percent in April  that’s a 16-point drop in six weeks. Just 35 percent of conservatives approve, down from 48 percent.

This marks one of the few times in his presidency Bush has received less than 50 percent approval from members of his own party on any issue in an ABC/Post poll. On handling the Iraq War, for comparison, he’s never gone below 62 percent approval from Republicans.

Kaus thinks Bush’s rhetoric about amnesty opponents not wanting to do “what’s right for America” is part of his Lincoln strategy, whereby this becomes a racial issue and he becomes the Great Emancipator of illegal aliens with Republicans rewarded for decades to come with grateful Mexicans’ votes. In an earlier post he calls the strategy “insane,” which of course it is: why would any illegal alien, however grateful, vote with a party denounced by its leader and his cronies as filled with racists, “nativists,” and fans of capital punishment for border-crossing? The strategy only makes sense if you assume Bush doesn’t care at all about the fortunes of the party and is simply trying to build a personal legacy. But what are the odds of that?

Meanwhile, WaPo says the bill’s supporters are optimistic. But what to make of this?

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will push to move up the date before which the backlog of family-based immigration applications would have to be processed by the Department of Homeland Security, adding 833,000 immigrants. Kyl said he will withdraw his support for the bill if the amendment passes.

He also said he will walk away if Menendez and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) win passage of an amendment that would more than double the number of green cards available under the bill for the parents of U.S. citizens. Kyl said conservatives believe today’s family unification system is being misused by illegal immigrants, whose U.S.-born children are citizens.

I assume this is just his way of putting the strong amnesty supporters on notice that if they want him to cave on these amendments, he needs something back. Kaus notes an AP report that hints at one possibility — a toughening of … the meaningless, moronic “touchback” requirement, which, by the way, is opposed by 56% of those who support legalization according to the new ABC poll. It’s worth flagging this now, though, so that we can “remind” Kyl later when his line in the sand is crossed and he doesn’t do jack about it.

Since I’m cribbing so much from Kaus, I owe him a link for this. The unified field theory of major Bush policy initiatives!

Update: Politico remembers a gentler time, when the word “amnesty” slipped freely from the lips of straight-talkin’ mavericks like John McCain. The year: 2003.


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Drudge has a link that opposition is waning and supporters are expecting passage. So it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks does it? No one is listening.

lorien1973 on June 4, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Yeah, that’s the WaPo link. (And we had it last night before he did.)

Allahpundit on June 4, 2007 at 9:55 AM

The problem: Bush doesn’t care about numbers. He’d “rather be right than popular.” Darnit, though, it would require great effort for him to be more wrong on this issue, and the numbers are trying to tell him that fact.

flutejpl on June 4, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Bush is like a guy who has shot a hole in the bottom of his boat. Instead of bailing, he’s chosen to shoot five more holes in order to let the water out. We’re doomed.

windbag on June 4, 2007 at 10:02 AM

The other 45% must be on vacation–on Mars.

dostrick on June 4, 2007 at 10:02 AM

How is the Lincoln strategy working out for Republicans these days?

Valiant on June 4, 2007 at 10:09 AM

A few weeks ago I received an email from a group of conservative friends about an imaginary Bush retirement speech saying how he would quit because he was sick of fighting everyone on the war on terror and that we are a frivilous, ungrateful nation.

Oh how we wish he would retire now.

Bill C on June 4, 2007 at 10:11 AM

Dude, the link to Kaus is going to the “registration required” LA Times, and not to Kaus’s web site.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Which is Slate, and not his web site at all…oops.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 10:18 AM

I love Kaus’s angle on the entire bill, but his evisceration of the Pence alternative “touchback” feature as a “scam” is great stuff. See the link in Slate.

How very bitterly disappointing to see Pence playing lackey for Bush on this.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Oh how we wish he would retire now.

Bill C on June 4, 2007 at 10:11 AM

How about this?
Bush quits and turns it over to Cheney.(sp)
That would make the libs flip out and Cheney goes down in history as being the 43rd(?) President of The United States.

Who cares what Cheney might do. It couldn’t be worse than what we have now.

OBX Pete on June 4, 2007 at 10:31 AM

lorien1973 on June 4, 2007 at 9:53 AM

No politician listens till he gets his butt kicked. Carter never listened, the Dems never listened, but they passed most everything Newt asked for. They gave Reagan what he wanted.
We will lose some this election (because of the hard headed Bush), then the Dems will F** it up like they always do, and out of the ashes another Reagan type. Lower the taxes, encourage business, small enterprise, kick a little foreign a**, smash a few unions (teachers I hope), someone who takes a campaign promise seriously; right the ship, fill the sails, and we are back in control.
In the meantime we can watch the most ethical congress in our history, rape our assests. Watch the senator’s give their husbands billions of dollars, fill thier freezers with money, fly the world in junkets (oh how they love the Caribbean). Listen to their fiddling as we burn.

right2bright on June 4, 2007 at 10:37 AM

If you all want to make your voices heard, you should join numbersUSA:

http://www.numbersusa.com

You can send a bunch of free faxes to government officials.

WisCon on June 4, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Doesn’t surprise me. He had nearly zero support from Dems because of their moronic position on Iraq and now he has losing quite a few Reps for their (in my opinion) moronic position on immigration. Bush is doing what he things is right, polls be damned, because he isn’t running for election.

One thing Bush isn’t lacking is backbone.

crosspatch on June 4, 2007 at 10:55 AM

Follow up-

Cheney stays in as President for a couple of weeks and then quits. Wouldn’t that make Nancy Pelosi the first female president of the United States? Do you think Hillary could take that or would she just pack her stuff and disappear?
What could be better than that?

OBX Pete on June 4, 2007 at 10:56 AM

I floated this theory on Slublog last week (Slu wasn’t buying, and I’m not really buying it myself but it’s an interesting idea):

What if Bush realizes that no matter what he does, he’s destined to be unpopular with a majority of the country for the rest of his term? Clearly, that puts Republicans at a disadvantage if they have have to run on a supporting-the-President platform. So he does something that really ticks off the rank and file, allowing the Republican presidential candidates to run just as hard against him as the Democrats are.

Yeah, it’s far fetched, and like I said, I don’t really believe it myself, but Bush was so good at the poker playing for the first few years of his term. I’m just wondering what happened to that.

Farmer_Joe on June 4, 2007 at 11:12 AM

You know, I was gonna fire off an angry missive to my Senator…but he’s Mel ‘the Mushroom’ Martinez.

So what’s the point?

tree hugging sister on June 4, 2007 at 11:27 AM

If you all want to make your voices heard, you should join numbersUSA:

WisCon on June 4, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Correction: if you want to be terrorized by a blizzard of emails from this self-promoting POS, and then find yourself stuck on a list that simply refuses to remove you, no matter what you do or so, then go ahead.

Sorry, WisCon, but let’s let these buyers beware. That email list sucks.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 11:28 AM

John Kyl……You’ve betrayed my vote!
He said this to the Arizona Republic (aka The Rag)

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0603garcia0603.html

Kyl said that is his hope and his expectation.

“This is a way to let the people who are here illegally to start over and do it our way this time,” he said. “Granted, we’ve giving them a big benefit and (one that) a lot people don’t think they deserve.

But if they do everything we ask of them, if they decide to become citizens, by the time they get to that point, you’re going to have to acknowledge that they did everything that we would ask any other immigrant to do. The only problem is that when they first came in, they came here illegally or they overstayed a visa.
“And so they should make a good citizen at that point. I think over time this will have a healing effect.”

Strong = my emphasis. If and but’s? What the heck!
Notice the editorial comment by the author.

Emotions run high, including among certain anti-immigrant extremists who want the government to load up every man, woman and child (whether that child was born in the United States or not) without documents and ship them back to Mexico in cattle cars. That engine is powered by racism and rides the parallel rails of hate and ignorance. Such politics go nowhere.

Really. How about the majority of us who want existing laws enforced but rolling over? What about us? Are we racists also?

VikingGoneWild on June 4, 2007 at 11:38 AM

DO NOT LET THE CONGRESS & WH THINK OUR BELIEFS AND OPPOSITION IS WANING! CALL THEM EVERY DAY!

If you can wait 5 minutes for a Starbucks you can call your rep.

Use the below link to get the number for your rep’s.

Do nothing to get nothing.

http://capwiz.com/sicminc/dbq/officials

VikingGoneWild on June 4, 2007 at 11:42 AM

Whoops! but = before!

existing laws enforced but rolling over?

Sorry! ; ‘ )

VikingGoneWild on June 4, 2007 at 11:43 AM

VikingGoneWild on June 4, 2007 at 11:38 AM

I am with you Viking, when did it become racist to expect that the law be followed and enforced? I am expected to obey the law, pay taxes on time, yet my government wants to allow 20 million lawbreakers to be put on the fast track to citizenship. Our opposition isn’t racism it is good old fashioned outrage at a HUGE injustice being done to the law-abiding, tax paying citizens of this country!

deadbackpacker on June 4, 2007 at 11:46 AM

If you all want to make your voices heard, you should join numbersUSA:

WisCon on June 4, 2007 at 10:41 AM
Correction: if you want to be terrorized by a blizzard of emails from this self-promoting POS, and then find yourself stuck on a list that simply refuses to remove you, no matter what you do or so, then go ahead.

Sorry, WisCon, but let’s let these buyers beware. That email list sucks.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 11:28 AM

That has not been my experience at all. Yeah, you do get maybe 5 or 6 emails a week sometimes, but that is when the s*** is hitting the fan. They make it super easy to send faxes (most of them already have the main points written) and also they provide you with report cards of how your reps and sens have voted.

I have never tried to unsubscribe so I don’t know about that, but if someone wants to do more than just sit and whine then I think it is a great resource.

WisCon on June 4, 2007 at 11:54 AM

The anti American sovereignty gang of cut throats are trying to narrow and drive the debate down into the gutter.

Circumventing evidence that proves letting in hordes of uneducated people is bad for America and slinging epithets at opponents benefits the open borders operatives because the public might then get the idea that maybe the President is right, if we follow them down into the gutter!

Pro America activists who take the high road and refuse to get down in the gutter with their rhetoric could counter the race baiters (which unfortunately includes our commander in chief).

It’s very important at this time that none of us sinks to the level of gutter rhetoric.

Speakup on June 4, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Surely Kyl isn’t serious!?!? Doesn’t he KNOW that when Republicans “compromise” with liberals, Republicans take it up the colon with no vaseline? OF COURSE there will be amendments passed that will weaken this bill.

DUH!

SouthernGent on June 4, 2007 at 12:26 PM

I keep reading that ” Bush is trying to build a legacy with a domestic accomplishment.”

Can anyone explain how a disastrous Amnesty Legacy could in any way be thought of as an accomplishment for anyone other than Ted Kennedy?

Everyone seems to be repeating this explanation for Bush’s actions/stance and for the life of me I cannot see how this could ever be viewed as an accomplishment much less one to be remembered for.

Unless your goal was to destroy the two party system and fracture America.

America1st on June 4, 2007 at 12:32 PM

El Presidente Jorge Arbusto is finished. If this travesty of a bill becomes law, the Republican Party is finished as well. If, however, it is defeated but effective border controls sans any amnesty can be accomplished, the future of the Republican Party is bright, especially as the Demoractic Establishment showed such comtempt for the interests of average Americans, and its base, unlike the Republican base, was not willing to revolt.

ptolemy on June 4, 2007 at 12:40 PM

Problem: Illegals are flooding the country, with all of the negative consequences (that’s another discussion)that it brings.

Proposed Solutions: 1. prevent new people from coming in.
2. Figure out what to do with those already here: (a) deport them all unless they are complying with laws (b)give them an opportunity to become citizens. (c) Make them citizens without having to do anything for it.

We have to do number one, no matter what. If we don’t close the borders, what we do about those here is a moot point in 2-5 years at this rate of influx.

All the while we are debating, the boat is sinking and we are losing our democracy. We The People voted these laws in place and are supposed to be united around our constitution. If We the People do not enforce our laws, then the immigrants coming in cannot be expected to respect them, and our country becomes diluted with people who don’t respect our constitution. If too many people don’t respect the constitution and we don’t enforce it, it becomes ineffective and we lose our democracy. If we lose our democracy, we lose our freedom and will quickly decline into a much lesser country.

This is serious people.

CountryDoc on June 4, 2007 at 12:47 PM

Kyl is trying to bail out. He had no idea of the firestorm that was coming. He has received tens of thousands of communications (including from me!) basically calling him a traitor. Unfortunately, he earlier committed himself and so cannot just walk away from what he negotiated with the devil ,i.e., Ted Kennedy. However, he is looking for any excuse, i.e., change in the bill, that will allow him to disavow his evil handiwork.

ptolemy on June 4, 2007 at 1:03 PM

It’s the Dems looking for cheap Untermensch labor. We Republicans have messy houses since we all have jobs.

Hening on June 4, 2007 at 1:54 PM

…and don’t support illegal labor
(Sorry, I hit Submit too fast)

Hening on June 4, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Correction: if you want to be terrorized by a blizzard of emails from this self-promoting POS, and then find yourself stuck on a list that simply refuses to remove you, no matter what you do or so, then go ahead.

Sorry, WisCon, but let’s let these buyers beware. That email list sucks.

Jaibones on June 4, 2007 at 11:28 AM

I’ve never had a problem with them. I am very active on their site and I have never been harassed by their emails. It’s probably the most responsibly administered email list that I am on.

voiceofreason on June 4, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Kyl is trying to bail out. He had no idea of the firestorm that was coming. He has received tens of thousands of communications (including from me!) basically calling him a traitor. Unfortunately, he earlier committed himself and so cannot just walk away from what he negotiated with the devil ,i.e., Ted Kennedy. However, he is looking for any excuse, i.e., change in the bill, that will allow him to disavow his evil handiwork.

ptolemy on June 4, 2007 at 1:03 PM

Let’s hope he gets it. If he does, it may encourage some others to walk away from it, and hopefully get at least enough senators to filibuster this POS.

It might be wishful thinking on my part, but it’s better than giving up at this point.

thirteen28 on June 4, 2007 at 4:52 PM