The Spectacle Blog

Obama’s Immigration Move Hurts Him in Swing States

By on 6.27.12 | 12:40PM

Before the health care ruling absorbs all the oxygen, let's take a look at Quinnipiac's latest polling. In three crucial swing states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida -- President Obama's edict amnestying young illegal immigrants makes voters less likely to vote for him rather than more likely. This is true even though the poll finds majority support for the policy in those states.

In Ohio and Pennsylvania, more than twice as many people polled say the decision makes them less likely to vote for Obama (27 percent) than more likely (12 percent in Pennsylvania, 11 percent in Ohio). In Florida, it is closer but the end result is still the same: 22 percent say the immigration policy makes them less likely to vote for Obama while 17 percent of respondents say it makes them more likely to vote for him. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza likens this to Obama's evolution on gay marriage: the electorate as a whole may narrowly agree with the president, but the voters who care most disagree.

That is why it would be mind-numbingly stupid for Mitt Romney to embrace the conventional wisdom that Obama's immigration policy only has supporters. It has opponents too, and they are also looking for a presidential candidate who will mobilize them. The Republican nominee would seem a logical choice, if he is actually willing to do so. Romney's current approach seems more likely to disappoint working-class swing voters than to win over a significant number of Hispanics.

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