Sunday, September 14, 2008
Not much has been said thus far on immigration on the presidential campaign trail. Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News predicts that immigration will be a topic in the forthcoming presidential debates:
Immigration reform was once Sen. John McCain's signature issue – and a key ingredient in his maverick image. Democrats have largely avoided the subject, but there are signs they'll be using the issue this fall to challenge the Republican presidential nominee's maverick claim.
"Everybody's so scared to touch the subject, because in certain areas it's detrimental to somebody's political future," said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio. "It's an issue that legitimately should be addressed."
Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the electorate, and analysts predict turnout as high as 9 million, up from the 2004 record of 7.6 million. Their clout will be most felt in battlegrounds like Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida.
Last week, Democratic pollster Sergio Bendixen released data showing that in all those states but Florida, Sen. Barack Obama holds a strong lead among Hispanic voters, and immigration is a key reason.
Mr. Bendixen predicted that "when the debates start, there will be a lot of discussion." The first debate is less than two weeks away, on Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi. Click here for the full story.