Immigration reform appears to be dropping off the radar of the Democrats, with the party hardly mentioning the issue during its campaigning. This is despite immigration reform having been the party’s major domestic priority for the last couple of years. The fight for control of the Senate is unlikely to be impacted by Latino voters, who are the most energized about reforming immigration laws.
Working class white voters are set to play a much more vital role in the midterm elections in comparison to the presidential election of 2012, and they are not interested in the issue of immigration reform. They are more worried about the downward pressure being placed on wages, which has been connected to higher immigration levels by the Congressional Budget Office; at the same time, support for Obama among white voters who do not have college degrees has also been slowly eroding.
Strategists in the Democrat party are admitting that the party’s track record on US immigration reform is not going to help their 2014 candidates, although they still think it could play a vital role in the next presidential election in 2016. “In light of turnout models, it’s probably not as strong an issue as it would be in presidential years,” admits Democratic strategist Steve Jarding.
“I still think Democrats have fumbled this issue because they allow the issue to be played on Republican terms,” Jarding continues. “Republicans are trying to suggest immigration is the reason wages are being suppressed and it’s a racial issue. I don’t like it. That’s what they’re doing cynically.”