Update–Silence still = Amnesty! I’m not saying Rubio’s poll collapse means people don’t need to speak up over the recess against the Dem/Gang of 8 “legalization first” approach. It remains true that without pushback from actual voters, Republican representatives will listen to funders/businessmen/party leaders and cave on the issue. (Here’s the latest evidence of that.) What Bradley points out is that the GOP presidential primaries may be handling some of the pushback work. That, in itself, is unlikely to be enough. Many Congressmen may believe their local electorate is more snookerable than the GOP presidential primary electorate. They may feel they have other advantages–including other issues–that, say, Rubio doesn’t have. And their donors–the people they will rely on if they have grander ambitions–will be constantly pressuring them to give in. If ‘that’s not met by pressure the other way, they will.
Intensity matters. It’s one thing to tell a pollster you are souring on Rubio for President. It’s another to be pissed off enough that you might, just might, help organize a primary challenge to a backsliding neo-comprehensivist Congressman.