On Friday the President signed an executive clearing a path to citizenship for one million illegal immigrants. He may have simultaneously cleared a path to his re-election. Here’s why.
According to the latest NBC News Poll the President leads among Hispanic voters 61%-27%. Gallup has the President leading 67%-26%. According to every single pundit and political historian, Romney needs to get his support among Hispanics into the mid-high 30’s if he has any chance of winning the election. The President’s announcement goes a long way to virtually guaranteeing that won’t happen.
Florida Senator and Republican favorite Marco Rubio planned to announce his version of the Dream Act later this week. Rubio is well liked in the Hispanic community. The Romney campaign had intended to support Rubio’s plan as a means of increasing Romney’s support among Hispanics. Rubio announced yesterday that he will NOT be making any announcements thereby killing Romney’s plans to ride on Rubio’s coattails. Clearly this knee jerk change in strategy is a direct result the President’s announcement.
The Romney Campaign planned on attacking the President from the left; pointing out that the Obama Administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other administration in history. “Obama is no friend to Hispanics” was the planned message. The President’s executive order effectively mute’s that argument.
Romney’s immigration position during the Republican primaries was simple: “round them up and send them home.” Now Romney is being asked if he supports the President’s position. Anyone with any common sense would say: “Yes, this is a good temporary solution. But we need a long term immigration plan.” But if Romney makes that statement he alienates his base. If he criticizes the President he alienates Hispanics. As we saw on Sunday’s Face the Nation, Romney has chosen to dodge the question. The President has boxed him in a corner.
Republican’s have responded to the President’s decision by saying that he is usurping his powers and violating the Constitution. This reaction opens the door for the Obama Campaign to point out the numerous times that previous Republican administrations exercised their executive powers and sidestepped Congress….the proverbial pot calling the kettle black strategy.
Voters are tired of the gridlock in Washington. They are tired of being told that nothing is getting done on their behalf. By taking this action the President shows that in spite of gridlock in Congress he is trying to move the country forward. That’s leadership…and that’s what voters want to see.
The President has several paths toward acquiring the 270 electoral votes he needs to win re-election. One of those is the “Western Path” through Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona…a path populated with a large Hispanic community. This executive order widens that path to victory.
The press has spent the past five days focused on the President’s action and Romney’s response. Any day that the press is NOT talking about the economy is a good day for the President.
Obama Campaign officials say they have a very specific strategy to defeat Mitt Romney. They have cards they intend to play and know when they intend to play them.
POLITCO reports: “President Obama’s Campaign wants to turn Mitt Romney into the candidate of old, straight white men. The Obama Campaign spent weeks playing up the contraceptive fight and pushing legislation to guarantee women equal pay for equal work…Obama got pushed into backing gay marriage more quickly than he wanted; but once he did he milked it for days to make Romney look like a throw back. The drumbeat on more affordable student loans has been constant. And now the President is trying to drive a wedge between Romney and Hispanic voters with a sustained push to soften US deportation policy…Obama for America has a sophisticated campaign-within-the campaign, Operation Vote, focusing on specific swing and Democratic base groups, including women, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, youth, seniors, gays and lesbians, along with veterans and military families. There are separate structures for each of these groups in key states to amp up turnout and persuasion.” Politico sites voter registration drives at pride festivals, Spanish ads in Colorado, Florida and Nevada and dorm captains focused on registering college students as examples.
The Obama Campaign is following a “micro-strategy’ designed to specifically target key groups. The Romney Campaign is following a “macro-strategy” focused on one thing…the economy. “The economy stinks…Obama’s plan didn’t work…vote for me.”
According to Obama Campaign officials, the President’s immigration announcement is just one piece of their planned strategy to defeat Mitt Romney. We may look back in November and see that it was in fact the pivotal point in the campaign.
So for all the nay-sayers (like us) who feel like the Obama Campaign has lost its “mojo”…stay tuned. Apparently there is much more to come.