The Los Angeles Times is reporting that President Obama may postpone his sweeping executive actions on immigration until after the midterm elections. Why? Because Democrats are begging him to:
The two-step plan would bow to the concerns of Democratic lawmakers running in Republican-leaning states who have expressed opposition to Obama’s plans to act unilaterally on the hot-button issue. Some Democratic senators have said he should wait for Congress to pass legislation.
Wait. Why would they want to do that? Aren’t the policies Obama is proposing on immigration wildly popular? That’s what they keep telling us, anyway. "I promise you, the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs," he said earlier this month. If Democrats would simply stand with the president, then surely voters will reward them. Right?
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Apparently, Democrats running for reelection feel otherwise, as the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent explains. In fact, they’re worried that Obama taking action on immigration before the November "could make a GOP Senate takeover more likely." But it's not just because a lot of Democratic Senators are running in red states where voters are less inclined to support Obama's immigration policies.
In New Hampshire, Republican Scott Brown is gaining on incumbent Senate Jeanne Shaheen after attacking her record on immigration. A recent poll showed Brown within two points, a dramatic improvement since June, when polling showed him trailing by 12 points.
Meanwhile, public opinion on immigration has shifted dramatically since the controversy surrounding the influx of child migrants on the southern border.
On the issue of how to address the crisis on the border, Democrats opposed a GOP proposal backed by a significantly majority of Americans. So we'll see what happens, but the fact remains that Democratic immigration policies are not as popular as Democrats claim. The issue is not a priority for most voters, and when asked, an overwhelming majority of them oppose higher levels of immigration, one of the least publicized aspects of the Gang of Eight legislation. And it would seem the White House doesn't believe the issue is urgent enough to risk a political backlash by acting without Congress.