The only poll that matters …

posted at 8:01 am on June 11, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The axiom is so often used to explain away accurate but embarrassing poll results that it sounds too cliché to use it in most cases, but it’s true — the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day. Eric Cantor proved that last night, much to his chagrin, after his campaign bragged last week about an internal poll showing him up 34 points against his primary challenger, Dave Brat. Despite being outspent 25:1 in the primary — that’s not a typo, but twenty-five to one — Brat prevailed by beating Cantor by eleven points in an unusually high turnout.

So … what happened? John Avlon writes that the Tea Party that Cantor encouraged came back to bite him, and that the primary process itself is to blame:

First-time candidate and full-time economics professor Dave Brat decisively defeated the consummate pol by a 55 to 45 margin. His secret? Run hard to Cantor’s right on immigration and other hot button issues while boasting the support of talk-radio favorites like Mark Levin and Ann Coulter.

But don’t give the TeaVangelist team too much credit for strategic genius. The key factor in this upset is a 12% voter turnout—meaning that 6.1% of the local electorate could make a majority. This is a paradise for activists and ideologues—Main Street voters, not so much.

No one seriously doubts whether Cantor could have won a general election in his Virginia district. This is purely a numbers game. An unrepresentative turnout makes for an unrepresentative result. And for Republicans, it is perhaps the most pointed reminder of the dangerous game they’ve been playing by stoking the fires of furious conservative populism. Golem ultimately turns on its creator.

Sorry, but this is absurd. First, Cantor himself got elected through the same supposedly unrepresentative process of the primary system. Second, what would be more representative to determine a party nominee — a caucus? Living in a caucus state myself, I can assure Avlon that’s not the case; caucuses are much more prone to get hijacked by small and unrepresentative groups who are effective at organizing. Just because people don’t choose to vote in primary elections (or city elections, or judicial elections) doesn’t make them unrepresentative. All eligible voters can vote if they choose to do so, and if they don’t, that’s their business too. The winner represents that choice as well.

Also, it should be noted that turnout in this primary was actually higher than those earlier primaries that nominated Cantor (almost 20,000 more than in 2012) and were supposedly more representative — and that Cantor got fewer votes this time than in his last primary. In fact, Cantor’s pollster relied on those dynamics to explain how he got the race wrong by about 45 points in the gap:

The survey had Cantor ahead of his opponent, little-known professor David Brat, 62 percent to 28 percent, with 11 percent of voters undecided, according to the Post. It polled 400 likely Republican primary voters on May 27 and 28.

It was supposed to have had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. The error, of course, was far larger. (Statistically, this is expected to happen on 1 in 20 surveys.) In the end, it undercounted Brat’s support by about 27 percentage points and overestimated Cantor’s by 17 points. The poll was widely mocked on Twitter.

In an email to National Journal, McLaughlin, whose firm has been paid nearly $75,000 by Cantor’s campaign since 2013, offered several explanations: unexpectedly high turnout, last-minute Democratic meddling, and stinging late attacks on amnesty and immigration.

“Primary turnout was 45,000 2 years ago,” McLaughlin wrote. “This time 65,000. This was an almost 50% increase in turnout.”

Translation: McLaughlin’s estimate of who was a “likely Republican” voter was way, way off the mark. But Cantor’s total number of votes still shrunk, even as the total number of primary voters went up dramatically in 2014. He secured 37,369 primary votes in 2012 and less than 29,000 this year, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

That negates Avlon’s complaint, and McLaughlin’s other excuse, which is that the new voters may have been primarily Democrats. Virginia allows crossover voting, and Democrats did encourage their voters to do so, but it seems rather unlikely that this caused Cantor to lose votes, especially to Brat, when Democrats don’t have a marquee candidate to face Brat. (They have one of Brat’s colleagues at Randolph-Mason, Jack Trammell, as their nominee.)

The Washington Post probably comes closest to the mark on what created the problem:

Several said they believed that Cantor had mismanaged his campaign, with a strategy in which he was too aloof and his tactics too aggressive. In Virginia, some Republicans perceived him as having grown removed from his 7th Congressional District, spending too much time on national fundraising and Washington infighting.

“Cantor’s field effort was nonexistent. You didn’t see a heavy Cantor presence at Shad Planking, one of the premier Virginia GOP events, and the movers-shakers in the group he works with, YG Virginia, did not have the staff to fully compete,” said Andrew Xifos, a Virginia Republican organizer. “Brat was always an afterthought to them, even as they spent a lot of money. Central Virginia politics was changing around them and they did not see it.”

Then, some strategists said, Cantor compounded his problems with a blitz of TV ads that attacked Brat, 49. Cantor was apparently intending to bury his underfunded challenger, but the strategy backfired.

“It gave [Brat] oxygen and it gave him sympathy. It was just a tactical mistake,” a Virginia Republican strategist said. “That’s when Brat went from being a guy that die-hard tea party people had heard about to being a guy that just ordinary conservatives driving around and listening to talk radio had heard about.”

Brat only spent $40,000 on the campaign, which would have barely drawn notice had it not been for the million dollars Cantor spent in raising Brat’s profile. Another axiom might have helped Cantor in this regard — never punch down. Had Cantor spent that money on positive retail politicking in his district rather than on an air war against an unknown, the end result may well have looked like McLaughlin’s polling.

What now? Cantor had been the heir apparent to John Boehner, which is one reason why the Tea Party base took aim at him in this primary. Politico runs down the succession to the House GOP leadership, which looks a little more conservative this morning:

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the current No. 3 in the House, is all but certain to run for the majority leader post, GOP sources said. McCarthy’s office declined to comment on Cantor’s loss or McCarthy’s plans.

But the California Republican likely will be challenged by a member of the conservative wing of the House GOP Conference, potentially including Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio or Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

And a full-scale war will break out for majority whip, with Scalise, McMorris Rodgers and Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) all possibilities for that post.

Roskam had already started unofficially running for whip, if the job came open. A GOP aide said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) decided to officially seek the whip job after receiving a number of calls Tuesday night from conservatives in the party urging him to run after Cantor lost.

GOP Rep. Paul Ryan is next in line for the Ways and Means Committee gavel and has said he wasn’t running for leadership, a stance he may now have to rethink.

Other leadership hopefuls could also emerge, especially among freshmen or sophomore members, although some of the most visible members those classes are running for Senate, leaving Congress or have other roles at this time. This group includes Reps. Jim Lankford (R-Okla.), who is running for Senate; Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), another Senate hopeful; Tim Griffin (R-Ark.); and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who is chairing the Benghazi select committee.

The final lesson comes from John Fund, who argues that this primary should teach incumbents a very valuable lesson about taking their constituencies for granted:

Many constituents of Eric Cantor felt he had ignored them for years, rarely returning home and often ignoring them on key issues ranging from expanding Medicare prescription-drug benefits to TARP bank bailouts. The frustration boiled over at a May party meeting in his district, where Cantor was booed and his ally was ousted from his post as local party chair by a tea-party insurgent. “He did one thing in Washington and then tried to confuse us as to what he did when he came back to his district,” one Republican primary voter told me. …

Primaries are often criticized for low voter turnout. But they are also expressions of the grassroots sentiments of political parties. The lesson tonight is that establishment candidates ignore their most ardent voters at their peril. As political analyst Stuart Rothenberg put it tonight: “The GOP establishment’s problem isn’t with the Tea Party. It’s with Republican voters.”

That, and don’t trust McLaughlin’s polling — which has a track record that should have Virginia Republicans asking how he got the job at Team Cantor in the first place.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

I always laugh when leftwingers use “nativism” or “nativist” perjoratively. The common sense idea that politicians are supposed to serve the citizenry that elects them and not the citizenry of another country seems to be a concept utterly foreign to them (no pun intended).

Red Widow on June 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

It’s positively Orwellian when you consider how they play identity politics in every aspect of their lives. If you’re a minority, you must support certain issues. If you’re a woman you must be pro-abortion and a radical leftist fembot. But if you’re pro-citizen, you’re a bigot and how dare you believe that politicians are supposed to be responsive to their constituents. NATIVIST.

njrob on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Eric Cantor was a stand-up guy circa 2009, when the GOP was out of power. Shame that he got so thoroughly corrupted by the Washington power machine. Congratulations in advance to Brat.

KingGold on June 11, 2014 at 8:18 AM

KingGold talking about how Washington corrupts?? (Spews coffee!) Am I in an alternate universe?

What happened to your daily bashing of TrueCons?

TheRightMan on June 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

..serious question: can Brat win in November?

The War Planner on June 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM

..serious question: can Brat win in November?

The War Planner on June 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM

At this point, no question he can. He was on with Chuck Todd this morning, who was trying for the gotcha questions, and Brat handled him beautifully.

Tater Salad on June 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Eric Cantor was a stand-up guy circa 2009, when the GOP was out of power. Shame that he got so thoroughly corrupted by the Washington power machine. Congratulations in advance to Brat.

KingGold on June 11, 2014 at 8:18 AM

KingGold talking about how Washington corrupts?? (Spews coffee!) Am I in an alternate universe?

What happened to your daily bashing of TrueCons?

TheRightMan on June 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Cantor had actually screwed over the state Republican establishment as well as the Tea Party with caucus shenanigans and his ex-staffers helping Terrible Terry in last year’s VA Gov race.

ebrown2 on June 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Despite all the praise for the TP, yes many of Brat’s voters are sympathetic to the TP, there wasn’t a single major TP and very few conservative groups financially backing him. He sounds much more libertarian conservative in his approach (free market capitalism and free market of ideas and speech) which I think resonates with a much broader demographic for the GOP.

Bravo to Brat in his approach.

Tater Salad on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Brat’s biggest separation from Cantor was on open borders and illegal immigration, but he didn’t use rhetoric that would have allowed him to be painted as an extremist. He used the Jeff Sessions approach which came quite naturally to Brat because it is basic economics and he is an economist after all. This is very different than Rand Paul who uses establishment talking points and straw man arguments in favor of illegal immigration.

Wigglesworth on June 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM

AZCoyote on June 11, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Oh I am not crying for him… LOL! That dead broke did was a dig at him and Hillary.

dogsoldier on June 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM

How would you guys categorize a hypothetical candidate that was for militarizing the southern border with fortification, personnel, materiel such that it was impenetrable, ramping up deportations, cracking down on visa-overstays, against any form of pathway to citizenship -

however was for much larger (functionally unlimited) h1b and other guest-worker/visa programs?

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Wow… The Krispy Kremers desperately trying to save face.

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

How would you guys categorize a hypothetical candidate that was for militarizing the southern border with fortification, personnel, materiel such that it was impenetrable, ramping up deportations, cracking down on visa-overstays, against any form of pathway to citizenship -

however was for much larger (functionally unlimited) h1b and other guest-worker/visa programs?

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I think you are trying to describe the difference in Brat vs Cantor. Brat clearly agrees with the first part of your premise, the rule of law. However on the second he would disagree, there are to many people out of work in this country to have an open border approach to jobs. He would say that if the low wage jobs being filled by many immigrants were allowed to have an American based free market solution, we would have wage/price discovery to find out what those jobs are worth.

Tater Salad on June 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Brat – I’m running on free markets, constitutional principles. I don’t think free markets are either right or left. I don’t think the rule of law is either right or left.

Subtle, but I got the message. He is in favor of enforcing immigration laws, but you don’t have to scream DEPORT THE INVADERS which will turn off a segment of the electorate.

Wigglesworth on June 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM

This is a paradise for activists and ideologues—Main Street voters, not so much.

You mean Main St. non-voters then, don’t you genius?

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Yeah, I’m still stunned by this. Congrats to VA 07. Democracy in action.

Funny watching all of the mainstream pundits turning themselves into pretzels trying to spin this. The cognitive dissonance is off the charts.

WhatSlushfund on June 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

you don’t have to scream DEPORT THE INVADERS which will turn off a segment of the electorate. Wigglesworth on June 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I often scream that in my car.

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

So what about Brats Dem. opponent?

sandee on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM

It’s positively Orwellian when you consider how they play identity politics in every aspect of their lives. If you’re a minority, you must support certain issues. If you’re a woman you must be pro-abortion and a radical leftist fembot. But if you’re pro-citizen, you’re a bigot and how dare you believe that politicians are supposed to be responsive to their constituents. NATIVIST.

njrob on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

As long as you mean “nativist” as supporting the actual, you know, native people of north america then I think you’d find lots of support for your position…

Oh, you actually meant it as a sign of support for crypto-white supremacists like Tancredo? huh. No not a lot of sympathy for that party plank over here. The blues brothers said it best.

Tlaloc on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM

You mean Main St. non-voters then, don’t you genius?

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I think he means the people who decide the actual election.

Tlaloc on June 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

“Money doesn’t vote, people do” — Dave Brat

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I doubt all these excuses that Cantor lost because of poor constituent services or bad campaign strategy. How about he lost because the majority of the voters didn’t like his stance on illegal immigration? It strikes me that many people in the Tea Party are more concerned about issues than constituent services. Also, with the internet, it is possible to get people more informed about the problems with what Cantor was doing.

thuja on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Brat said that while he’s received a ton of tea party support, he didn’t run as a tea partier. He supports Republican principles, and made it clear “the only problem with Republican principles is no one’s following them.”

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

The mackerel snappers can try and spin Cantor’s defeat any way they wish but, most thinking people see exactly what defeated Cantor. His support of amnesty.

Mr. Arrogant on June 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Akzed on June 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Pretty much what I just wrote to my senators.

Cindy Munford on June 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

John Avalon is an idiot. Not sure why he pretends to be a republican.

Blake on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I think you are trying to describe the difference in Brat vs Cantor. Brat clearly agrees with the first part of your premise, the rule of law. However on the second he would disagree, there are to many people out of work in this country to have an open border approach to jobs. He would say that if the low wage jobs being filled by many immigrants were allowed to have an American based free market solution, we would have wage/price discovery to find out what those jobs are worth.

Tater Salad on June 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Brat would most probably support tpp/ttip.

I think brat is closer to cato in his heart than you would think – that’s why i asked the question.

It is difficult from an economics standpoint to support free movement of goods and capital but restraining labor.

either be a full buchananite or not. muddling in the middle isn’t going to help get swaths of the rust-belt and upper midwest back.

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

“Primary turnout was 45,000 2 years ago,” McLaughlin wrote. “This time 65,000. This was an almost 50% increase in turnout.” Umm, no it was actually a 44% increase in turnout, almost 45%. No wonder this genius of a pollster got it wrong.

stop2think on June 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Has anyone heard from Boehner, yet?

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

“Tonight’s election shows the Republican Party has two paths it can take on immigration,” New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. The [South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham] path of showing leadership and solving a problem in a mainstream way, which leads to victory. Or the Cantor path of trying to play both sides, which is a path to defeat. Cantor’s defeat does not change the fundamental fact that Republicans will become a minority party if they don’t address our broken immigration system.”

And he’s right. Unless the conservatives win out, and remove the future Democrat voters from the country. Then who will be the minority party?

BobMbx on June 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM

This is a very dangerous stretch for Brat with MSM lying in wait.

He should be VERY careful to do his homework and have many dry runs b4 having a Murdock moment.

As to the 7th district itself, they just threw away being represented by the next Speaker of the House. That’s a lot of power, money and influence to flush down the toilet.

And, as I predicted last night, Cantor will not wage a write-in.

matthew8787 on June 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

From Brat’s 23-year-old campaign manager:

On how Cantor’s negative ads affected Brat’s win:
“It was a huge part. We just harnessed it. You just stay positive and you tell the truth. You stay factual, you don’t get mean, you don’t get nasty. As Dave said at the 7th District convention, ‘I’m not running against Eric Cantor as a person, I’m running against Eric Cantor on policy, it’s nothing personal.’ And that’s the truth.”

Brat on June 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

what!! the campaign manager is my age? ugh now i feel like i have accomplished so little in my life, compared to him… lol

Sachiko on June 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Has anyone heard from Boehner, yet?

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

we’ll hear from him once he stops crying…

Sachiko on June 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Ed’s first quote is by John “Wingnut” Avlon? The fake Republican that makes Meghan McCain seem smart?

This is who you consult first?

faraway on June 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I propose that we make Dave Brat the next Speaker of the House.

Cantor outspent him 25 to 1 and yet he won. As a Professor of Economics, Brat has shown he can do more with less. We need people like him in the House leadership.

VA-07, thank you very much. Now please turn out for Brat in November and complete the great job you’ve started.

Brat for Speaker… or Majority Leader.

Ha ha ha ha…

TheRightMan on June 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM

So what about Brats Dem. opponent?
sandee on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Strictly a placeholder. They couldn’t leave that space blank on the ballot. But I suspect a mysterious Tea Party challenger endorsed by Rand Paul with the name Ceric Eantor to emerge

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Avalon is an idiot

cmsinaz on June 11, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Avlon’s an arrogant, self-assured, reflexively anti-conservative twit who’s presented as some sort of political ‘authority’ by the sinking CNN. He reminds me of that even more arrogant and self-assured reflexively anti-conservative figure trotted out by liberal networks occasionally — Markos “kid schmuck” Moulitsas.

otlset on June 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Has anyone heard from Boehner, yet?
Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

we’ll hear from him once he stops crying…
Sachiko on June 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

What’s he going to do without his kneecapping enforcer?

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM

what!! the campaign manager is my age? ugh now i feel like i have accomplished so little in my life, compared to him… lol
Sachiko on June 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Yeah, a former student at that too

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM

And he’s right. Unless the conservatives win out, and remove the future Democrat voters from the country. Then who will be the minority party?
BobMbx on June 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Hmm… So now we are supposed to be taking advice from Chucky Schmucky Schumer? I think it is safe to say Amnesty is dead to all who wish to have a political future, Democrats and Republicans included

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

establishment candidates ignore their most ardent voters at their peril

Exactly. Out Reps get to DC, get wined and dined, and all of sudden become experts in Big Government, then come back every couple of years and try to gloss over their capitulation to their “good friends across the aisles”.

RADIOONE on June 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

So, when does Cantor endorse and throw his support behind Brat? Or is it only conservative candidates that have to bite the bullet and support the primary winner?

Mitoch55 on June 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Brat said that while he’s received a ton of tea party support, he didn’t run as a tea partier. He supports Republican principles, and made it clear “the only problem with Republican principles is no one’s following them.”
Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

That flies in conflict with what he said on Mark Levin monday night. He said that he supports conservative tea party principles

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

So, when does Cantor endorse and throw his support behind Brat? Or is it only conservative candidates that have to bite the bullet and support the primary winner?

Mitoch55 on June 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

It would not surprise me for him to support the democrat.

Monkeytoe on June 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM

That flies in conflict with what he said on Mark Levin monday night. He said that he supports conservative tea party principles

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Where’s the conflict?

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM

I doubt all these excuses that Cantor lost because of poor constituent services or bad campaign strategy. How about he lost because the majority of the voters didn’t like his stance on illegal immigration? It strikes me that many people in the Tea Party are more concerned about issues than constituent services. Also, with the internet, it is possible to get people more informed about the problems with what Cantor was doing.
thuja on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

The problem with trying to woo illegal immigrants to vote for you is that you have to outlib the Democrats, which means that you further alienate conservatives. This Cantorizes the Whigicans

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Uh oh… Charlie McCarthy is making a power play for majority leader and CMR is ticked off saying she is due a position in leadership…. The drama!!!!

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

How do you defeat the House Majority Leader and only spend $ 122,000?

Have your campaign manager sleep on your living room couch – Brat’s 23 year old campaign manager interviewed

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Who is CMR? Thanks

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

…its all talk radio’s fault!

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I blame it all on George W Bush.

jbspry on June 11, 2014 at 12:17 PM

How would you guys categorize a hypothetical candidate that was for militarizing the southern border with fortification, personnel, materiel such that it was impenetrable, ramping up deportations, cracking down on visa-overstays, against any form of pathway to citizenship -

however was for much larger (functionally unlimited) h1b and other guest-worker/visa programs?

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

C’mon, cram a few more strawmen in there, will ya?

It’s either that combination or nothing?

Midas on June 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

How would you guys categorize a hypothetical candidate that was for militarizing the southern border with fortification, personnel, materiel such that it was impenetrable, ramping up deportations, cracking down on visa-overstays, against any form of pathway to citizenship -

however was for much larger (functionally unlimited) h1b and other guest-worker/visa programs?

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That is an entire different debate and makes no sense. You say “functionally unlimited” guess worker visas. So, basically, another open border?

I have no problem increasing various guest worker visas if the need is there. I have no problem increasing general immigration if there is a need for it.

Let’s have that debate. Let’s argue about those things and get facts and figures on why you need to import labor when we have 8% unemployment. It may be necessary to do, but it hasn’t been shown yet.

But that has nothing to do with amnesty. that is the problem with all pro-amnesty shills. They can’t have an argument about the pros and cons of amnesty – they have to bring all kinds of irrelevant stuff into the conversation because they have no argument.

Let’s say that a case is made that we need to triple our various guest-worker visas. How does that have anything to do with whether or not we should grant illegals amnesty (i.e., legal status to live, work, and receive gov’t benefits/entitlements in the U.S.)?

Allowing someone to come into the country and work for a certain period of time is not remotely the same as giving someone legal residency and all legal residency entails.

And, for the record, almost nobody believes that it is impossible to make the entire border a fortress or stop 100% of illegal immigration – so that is another straw-man.

Monkeytoe on June 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

And, for the record, almost nobody believes that it is impossible to make the entire border a fortress or stop 100% of illegal immigration – so that is another straw-man.

Monkeytoe on June 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

that should have been “nobody believes it is possible . . .”

Monkeytoe on June 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM

The only poll that matters …

Great headline.

The lesson tonight is that establishment candidates ignore their most ardent voters at their peril.

Return of the Jedi.

…last night, voters in Virginia made D.C. listen loud and clear.

Ted Cruz sums it up. This reminds me of Daschle losing. The arrogant political class needs to hear loud and clear that we don’t want to be ruled by an oligarchy. We don’t want to be ruled period. They work for us.

INC on June 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Nativism is alive and well in the GOP, and not just in the “deep south.” Not sure how relying exclusively on paranoid white voters is going to keep the GOP a viable party in the longterm. It is also amazing that white voters will spend money, time and energy organizing to keep the nation overwhelmingly Anglo, but won’t spend time and energy organizing unions that have historically proven to increase wages. You’ve been sold supply side economics for 4 decades now, why hasn’t it increased wages in “right to work” states? I know, i know, once *all* the “illegals” are gone, *then* the trickle down will happen, right?

libfreeordie on June 11, 2014 at 8:24 AM

You forgot to mention jingoism. Your demagoguery is slipping.

It’s ok. We understand you’re still in shock, and making sloppy little mistakes.

Still a little disappointed, though. Better up your game.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

And for Republicans, it is perhaps the most pointed reminder of the dangerous game they’ve been playing by stoking the fires of furious conservative populism. Golem ultimately turns on its creator.

Somehow John Avlon missed John Boehner’s purge of Conservatives from committee chairs and leadership positions and McConnell “punching” out the TEA Party folks and trying run anyone doing Conservative fundraising out of business. The GOPe hates Conservatives, when they are not ignoring them, as much as the Democrats do.

For Hot Air to publish John Avlon’s stupidity from The Daily Beast making such absurd claims benefits anyone how?

RJL on June 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Cantor will be “broke” in the same way that the post-WH Clintons were — leaving with just the clothes on their backs, vans filled with stolen WH antiques, and $20 million+ in book contracts.

AZCoyote on June 11, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Be fair, now. Nobody does “broke and in debt” quite like the Clintons.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 11, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Red Widow on June 11, 2014 at 8:26 AM

And what’s wrong with saying that? It’s absolutely impossible to repeal Obamacare. The Supreme Court, as well as blowing the 2012 Senate elections, ensured that outcome. To say otherwise is delusional talk pitched by the money-grubbing self-proclaimed Tea Party PACs.

KingGold on June 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

That’s absurd. Repealing Obamacare wouldn’t even be hard. Remove the individual mandate, remove the ridiculous requirements that all insurance plans must cover substance abuse, contraceptives, and pregnancy care whether you need it or not, allow basic catastrophic health insurance plans.

The only tricky part would be to keep the expansion and replacement of healthcare plans from happening so fast that you create a temporary bubble.

You seem to assume that government functions can’t be replaced by the private sector. That’s rarely true. In the case of Obamacare, the private sector is already doing most of the heavy lifting, just under an extreme regulatory burden.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 11, 2014 at 4:09 PM

It looks like McCarthy for Majority leader and Scalise for whip. Amnesty is still a go

Brock Robamney on June 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM

C’mon, cram a few more strawmen in there, will ya?

It’s either that combination or nothing?

Midas on June 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

I don’t support cantor so i’m not trying to piss on anybody’s chips here –

All I am saying is there are quite a number of those who in power who are anti-amnesty and ‘follow the rule of law’ types in congress but do not articulate their detailed plan on legal immigration.

Saying you support the ‘rule of law’ in immigration is a cop-out because you can change the laws – I want to know what is their vision and ideal policy for immigration regardless of what the law or politics are.

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Monkeyt

oe on June 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

We can attempt to crack down and plug up the border as best we can -

I asked the question precisely because it is very easy to be against amnesty (I think we all are) of any kind – but there are a lot less people speaking about legal immigration the way Buchanan would.

For example, switzerland is 20% foreign national – they don’t have much illegal immigration but company sponsored work permit isn’t hard to get via inter-company transfers, esp if you work in pharm and finance.

So it isn’t straw-man to ask my question because I think there are a lot of R’s who can very easily be against amnesty of anykind and border security, but are much more shaky on their vision of legal immigration.

And when asked, they don’t really give strong answers as to what their policy and thoughts on the matter is.

And IMO that is more important than amnesty because middle-class/upper middle class families in the rustbelt and upper midwest aren’t threatened by amnesty – but they are by increases in legal immigration and work visas.

uatu1878 on June 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM

AMF.

NoPain on June 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3