Below Paul takes issue with Tamar Jacoby’s reading of “The politics of immigration reform.” Paul correctly cites Michele Bachmann’s successful campaign in Minnesota’s Sixth District in support of his argument, but it would be fair to observe that the Sixth District race in particular was overwhelmed by other issues and nonissues.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, however, has steadily maintained a law enforcement perspective on immigration, as has Second District Congressman John Kline. See, for example, the January 3, 2006 Star Tribune article “Pawlenty takes aim at illegal immigration.” And John Kline ran advertisements on the issue through election day. This October 27, 2006 story by Minnesota Public Radio summarizes the issue as it played in all three campaigns: “GOP using immigration to turn out Republican base.”
Election night was a bloody massacre for Republicans in Minnesota, with the notable exceptions of Governor Pawlenty, Rep. Kline and Rep.-elect Bachmann. In combination, I think the results in these three races support Paul’s point.
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