The suburbs of Denver were supposedly the place where the immigration reform debate that has been raging throughout the United States would take center stage in a competitive battle for a seat in the House of Representatives; however, despite the growing immigrant population, Washington’s immigration war is barely an issue in the fight between Andrew Romanoff and Mike Coffman. The two often-bitter rivals ironically agree that immigration reform is almost the last thing on their minds and the minds of the voters.
This indifference does not appear to be restricted to Colorado. With just three months to go before the midterm elections, there are few House seat races where the immigration debate is sitting center stage, with other factors such as President Obama’s dwindling popularity, worries about the economy and Obamacare proving to be much larger issues.
“The national narrative’s wrong,” says independent pollster Floyd Ciruli, who believes that immigration reform is well down the list of priorities for the great majority of voters. “It definitely doesn’t show up in any surveys as a big issue for the right or left. Obviously, you have segments, but it is just not at the top of mind.”
Republicans believe that economy woes and unhappiness with Obamacare are more on voters’ minds, and even Democrats believe that economic fairness, Coffman’s attitude to women’s issues and the social safety net are more likely to have an impact on the election result than immigration.