Will Opponents' Tough Immigration Talk Help Michael Bennet?

May 4 2010, 11:22 AM

U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton was one of the many Republicans to pile on to say she was proud of Arizona for passing a new immigration law that allows police to stop people who they suspect are not citizens. “The Arizona law was an inevitable consequence of the federal government’s failure to act over the last 30 years to secure all our borders," Norton says in a news release. "Securing America's borders is a national security imperative. Federal inaction has meant border violence and a drug trade run amok. Is it any wonder Arizonans are angry and fed up?” Yet, Arizona may have most helped not the tough-talking Republicans, but the Democrats they're hoping to score against---at least in Colorado and Nevada, where there are significant percentages of Latino voters, including some who believe the Arizona law is racist. That could be good for Colorado's Senator Michael Bennet, according to a blog post by Public Policy Polling, as well as Nevada's Senator Harry Reid. "How much of a difference would Reid and Bennet simply matching Obama's level of support among Hispanics in their states make? It would take five points off Reid's current polling deficit, about half of the margin in most polls. And it would give Bennet a two-point advantage in our numbers, enough to turn a tie into a small lead." A Time magazine blog notes that if the Obama administration were to go in the opposite direction of Arizona, to immigration reform, it could help "vulnerable Dems in states where there are large Hispanic communities," including Bennet. “They need---across the board---all the slivers of turnout that they possibly can get because they have an unenthusiastic base right now,” says a Democratic strategist who is close to the Senate Democratic leadership.