Friday, May 16, 2014

Boehner v. Jarrett on Immigration

On Thursday, top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett implied that Speaker John Boehner had made some commitment to the White House on immigration reform, or so it seemed.  According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jarrett said, "I think we have a window this summer, between now and August, to get something done. We have a commitment from Speaker Boehner, who’s very frustrated with his caucus."

But Speaker Boehner's office is pushing back against this claim.  Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, offered the following statement:

"Republicans are committed to reforming our immigration system, but as the speaker has said repeatedly, it’s difficult to see how we make progress until the American people have faith that President Obama will enforce the law as written.”

Jarrett now says that the administration has no concrete commitment from the Speaker:

With members of the Obama administration considering executive action to modify existing immigration law and in light of the recent Center for Immigration Studies report that the administration has released thousands of convicted immigrant criminals, some skeptics wonder about how much the administration can be trusted.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Arkansas Senate: Need for GOP to Build Bridges to Middle/Working Class

A new poll is out from NBC News/Marist that shows incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor with an 11-point lead over his Republican challenger, Congressman Tom Cotton, in the 2014 Arkansas Senate race.  Senator Pryor leads 51-40 among registered voters.

If this poll is to be believed (and it does have some methodological limits), it provides even more evidence for the importance of the GOP widening its appeal to members of the working and middle classes.  According to this poll, 76% of Arkansas registered voters live in households that make less than $75,000 a year, and Pryor dominates among this group.  He leads 57-36 among this group.  Cotton does well with voters coming  from households making over $75,000 a year; he leads among that group 54-39.  But his poor performance with the under-$75,000 voters hurts him.

Republicans can make a case for market-oriented, conservative policies that can help the working and middle classes.  But they will have to make that case.  Strengthening the Republican brand with working- and middle-class Americans could bring Tom Cotton closer to a Senate seat and the GOP closer to a governing majority.