Deborah Orin on yesterday’s fence vote:
WHEN the Senate voted by a stunning 83-16 in favor of a reinforced fence along the Mexico border yesterday, it showed that lawmakers are feeling get-tough winds blowing from the grass roots.
Even 2008 presidential prospects like Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) voted for the 370-mile fence, and several Democrats who first voted no switched nervously to yes.
“Voters are very clear that they want the situation at the border addressed first,” said independent pollster Scott Rasmussen, who’s found huge enforcement-first majorities in 33 states he polled.
“The real debate isn’t about what to do with the illegal aliens who are already here,” Rasmussen said. “It’s about what to do to keep more from coming here.”
Deborah notes that if President Bush had explicitly called for a fence in his televised speech Monday night, he could now be claiming a big victory. Bush had the right idea in giving a speech on immigration, but he had the wrong guy write it.
UPDATE: The Rasmussen poll data are here. In every state surveyed except Massachusetts, at least 60% of respondents say we should “enforce existing laws and control the border before considering new reforms.”