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A Republican Strategy Backfires and Creates an Uncertain Day of Reckoning

LatinaLista — Is the illegal immigration issue being blown out of proportion to distract voters from the real issues that threaten this country?

Of course, it depends on whom you ask. Yet, preliminary observations show that the immigration issue isn’t that big a deal to voters come next week’s election as Republicans hoped it would be.

Senator Kennedy at immigration reform rally
(Source: Radio Netherlands)

In fact, for many Republican candidates, their support of the measures taken against undocumented immigrants may play a part in their political downfall.

But with so many races to watch to see which candidates, who were strong anti-undocumented immigrant proponents, are winning or losing their races, it’s an almost impossible task.

Luckily, there are some people who have accepted the challenge, and they’ve created a web site to help the rest of us make sense of how the issue is exactly playing out in political races across the country.

Organizers of the site,, say the site is an effort to catalogue how and where the immigration issue is playing this election cycle and to analyze some of what we see. According to the Cook Political Report, as of October 31, 2006, there are 61 highly competitive seats and in almost all of these seats the immigration issue has been raised. There are 13 competitive Senate races and again in these races immigration has been raised and hotly debated by all but a handful. And though the issue cries for a federal response, the issue has played in several gubernatorial races. The question of course is whether the issue is being used wisely and whether the Republican Party, which in the main is responsible for attack ads on the issue, is reaping the rewards it had hoped.

With links to key senate, congressional and gubernatorial races, along with, daily analysis of what’s happening in some of the races, the site is very helpful in trying to grasp the impact of the issue on local elections.

If it is seen that in those races, tagged by this site, where illegal immigration is being overly emphasized by the Republican candidate, then the question must be asked: Did Republicans purposely seize this issue to not only distract a country facing more pressing problems but to divide an electorate, and paint themselves as actually doing something beyond disregarding sexual, political and financial misconduct of their Party members?

Republican strategists must have thought this tactic was a no-brainer.

What they didn’t count on was that Latinos and other American voters do have brains.

November 7, 2006 will be a very interesting night for todos.

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