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News from the Votemaster

Obama's Decision on Immigration Popular with Likely Voters

A large majority of likely voters favor President Obama's new policy of not deporting people who were brought to the United States illegally as children but who have not been in trouble with the law, gotten a high school diploma or served in the Armed Forces is polling well. The Bloomberg poll shows 64% of the voters approve while 30% disapprove. Among independents, support for the policy is better than 2 to 1.

This move by Obama is tying Mitt Romney in knots. He can't come out and approve the policy because it would infuriate his base as well as indicating that Obama made a good decision. He also can't attack the policy because that would be the end of any attempt to win the Latino vote (and Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada). So he hasn't taken a stand. This new poll might push him more towards approving the policy and risk the anger of his base. After all, they have no where else to go and probably most of them hate Obama enough that they will vote for Romney with clenched teeth in the end.

The problem the Republicans have on this issue is both short term and long term. The short-term problem is how to deal with Obama's decision on immigration. The longer-term problem is that Latinos are becoming a solidly Democratic voting block, like blacks and Jews. Republicans simply cannot afford to write off the nation's fastest growing minority, as shown by these graphs.

Immigration Issue Could Affect Other Races

Obama's decision to suspend the deportation process for about 800,000 people illegally brought to the U.S. as children may affect races other than his own by increasing Latino enthusiasm and thus turnout. It could especially affect the Senate races in Nevada, where 27% of the population is Latino and New Mexico, where half the population is Latino. It could also provide an edge in Virginia. Only 8% of the population in Virginia is Latino, but in the tight race between Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R), every vote counts.

Rubio Not Being Vetted for Veep

Politico is reporting that Mitt Romney's team is not even vetting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). He hasn't been asked to fill out the usual questionnaires asking about potential skeletons in his closet or turn in his tax returns. If this report is true, it means that Romney has no interest in Rubio as a potential Veep. Given Romney's aversion to risk, this is not surprising. He would undoubtedbly be more comfortable with a plain vanilla running mate like Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) or Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), people who won't say anything controversial or overshadow him.

But picking Portman or Daniels has problems, too. How does the party appeal to minorities and young people when both candidates are old rich white guys? Also, both of these people served as Bush's budget director and can be attacked as causing the recession. Romney probably doesn't want to spend 3 months explaining why his economic policies would be different from Bush's at the same time defending why he picked a key member of the Bush economic team as running mate. Nevertheless, insiders are expecting the Veep nominee to be one of these two, or possibly a clone thereof.