June 29, 2007

Rasmussen Poll:

Hopefully, Scott Rasmussen's polling business will get a lot of new business because he was so much more correct about public opinion on immigration than the established polls. Why was he more accurate? Because he thought through the issue so much more logically.

His company released this wrap-up yesterday:

Scott Rasmussen’s first law of politics is that America’s politicians aren’t nearly as important as they think they are. That law was clearly demonstrated earlier today when the United States Senate finally surrendered to the American people on immigration. Politicians may make things messy for a while, but over the long haul it is the American people who determine the nation’s fundamental policies.

The final Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll before the vote found that just 22% of Americans supported the legislation. No amount of Presidential persuasion, Senate logrolling, and procedural tricks was able to overcome that solid bi-partisan lack of public support (although it’s breathtaking to consider how close a determined leadership could come to passing such an unpopular bill).

The real mystery in all of this is why the Senators and their cheerleaders didn’t anticipate the public response. Perhaps they fell in love with their own rhetoric and forgot how it might sound to others.

Near the end of the debate, supporters of the doomed legislation often stated that the status quo is unacceptable. Most Americans would agree on that point. In fact, they might even hold that feeling more strongly than the Grand Bargainers of the Senate--72% of American voters believe it’s Very Important to reduce illegal immigration and enforce the borders. But controlling the border was never a focal point of the Senate debate. Instead, the Senators spent most of the time debating the fine points of various approaches to legalizing those who are here illegally. For voters, those topics were definitely a second-or-third tier aspect of the issue.

Because the Senators and the White House never showed much enthusiasm for reducing illegal immigration, only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal. Forty-one percent (41%) thought passage of the legislation would actually lead to more illegal immigration. In other words, even though voters consider the status quo unacceptable, they had every confidence that Congress could make a bad situation worse.

It is impossible to overstate the significance of this basic fact. Outside of 46 Senators, hardly anybody thought the legislation would work. That’s why it was defeated. It wasn’t amnesty or guest-worker programs or paths to citizenship that doomed the bill. Each of those provisions made it more difficult for some segments of the population to accept. However, a majority would have accepted them as part of a true compromise that actually gained control of the border.

In that environment, the only way for political leaders to prove they are serious about enforcing the border and reducing illegal immigration will be to do it. That’s the next logical step in the immigration debate.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

16 comments:

Riot Nrrd said...

Better Research Through Research.

Anonymous said...

This verbiage,

"However, a majority would have accepted them as part of a true compromise that actually gained control of the border"

....was precisely how I felt. I'd have been willing to cave on amnesty if I knew I was getting a 2000 mile wall & fence system with a well staffed border patrol and firm employee santions that stopped the problem. I'd have bitten the bullet so to speak. -------and Im sure the Bushinistas knew this, but thats not their long term plan for America, which is pretty clear to most now.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

I'm also happy about the death of "immigration reform", but I always cringe when conservatives -- at a time when the public is siding with them -- bray happily about how the "will of the people" has been served.

The public might have been right on this particular issue, but how quickly many conservatives forget that the "will of the people" is often very wrong.

Charasmatic liberals, such as John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, were very frequently able to fool "the people" and manipulate their naivete to advantage.

Think of JFK riding into office on the back of a non-existent
"missile gap" and the illogical appeal of "forward movement" for its own sake.

Think of Clinton's use of his own government shutdown. It would have been child's play for Bill Clinton to "triangulate" himself neatly between MALDEF extremists and (his attack dogs would have said) Republican Know-Nothings -- pursing his lips, rolling his eyes, and promising piously to provide "real immigration reform".

The Senate measure failed, not because "the people" possessed some sort of enduring peasant wisdom that inevitably saw through the machinations of the politicians.

The Senate measure failed because it was promoted by notoriously UN-charasmatic neo-cons instead of by charasmatic liberals.

Alexander Hamilton - the First Conservative properly saw "the people" as "that great beast". Despotism is the other great beast, and the proper posture of a conservative is that of an animal tamer, using a whip and a chair to hold both of them at bay.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
yet another good point. I just finished reading the NYTimes article - 'Bill Dies, Views Divide and Immigrants Work On', which showed the opinion of the vote from the illegal immigrant community. They had a quote in there from Tamar Jacoby to the effect that the tiny right wing nut jobs just out shouted the good, normal American, pro-bill voice.
I have no clue what planet these people are living on. Nobody wants to be the party pooper, 'Hey, you're not allowed in.' But, unlike Bush and Kennedy and Jacoby, I have to make a living in the real world and when the limits for H1B visas go into the hundreds of thousands and the livable wage becomes ever distant for many people, yeah, we don't like it.

Anonymous said...

Grizzlie --

I don't know what planet you're on, but back in my reality the people pushing this were:

Teddy Kennedy (Liberal)
GWB (Liberal, perhaps the most liberal President since JFK)
RINOS John McCain and Lindsay Graham (Republican Liberals).

The people who helped kill this were:

Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint (neo cons).
Mickey Kaus (neo con)
Hotair.com, Michelle Malkin, etc. (neo cons).
Rush & Hannity (neo cons).
Steve Sailor (paleo con).

Most of the Neo Cons were persuaded this was a bad idea or tried to stop it from the start. Nearly all the Liberals pushed this.

There is no "magic" liberalism charisma injection, Liberals like Hillary and Joe Biden are best described as "charisma challenged."

JFK won because ... Nixon was a bad candidate. And he out hawked-Nixon and Ike. If he hadn't been shot he might have gone down to defeat against almost anyone. Bill "Magic Pants" Clinton got his ass impeached (forced error) and blew his legislative agenda for payback for Hillary for forgiving his bimbos (her Health Care fiasco) and of course Monica.

And don't forget, Reagan had plenty of charisma and communication skills.

What this fight showed was the internet, talk radio, and self-organized people putting attack ads on YouTube (see the one saying "Thanks Lindsay Graham) can stop even the most self-involved elites.

The Capitol phone system went down under calls. THAT had impact. As did the attack ads, "dumplindsey.org" and Talk Radio.

Modern Technology and particularly the internet allows AQ to operate in a decentralized, ad-hoc, "swarming" mode to attack Westerners in the hopes of creating chaos and setting up small Islamic enclaves. Check out the jihadi videos on YouTube (who never take that stuff down, either cause they're liberal)

BUT ... Modern Technology allows the average joe to compete in a distributed manner with the big boys just as AQ can compete with the US military (particularly in the media operations).

Don't kid yourself. Senators may not have seen it but staffers pondering life in the job market and finding fear, whispered in their ears that it was not smart to push the bill through, after seeing the attack ads. Done easily with things like iMovie or Media Maker.

This victory was huge.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

***** Grizzlie -- I don't know what planet you're on *****


Do tell. I'll answer that question when you tell me what you've been smoking.

***** Teddy Kennedy (Liberal) *****


The bill would have been DOA if 1) it had not been supported by a neo-con president or 2) if it had ONLY been supported by conventional liberal Democrats, so EMK was a non-factor.


***** GWB (Liberal, perhaps the most liberal President since JFK)
RINOS John McCain and Lindsay Graham (Republican Liberals).*****


Utterly absurd. None of these Republicans, including McCain, would register the same as "liberal Democrats" on any litmus test.

GWB is neo on the two most defining and destructive issues of his presidency: the war and this issue, immigration.


***** Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint (neo cons).
Mickey Kaus (neo con)
Hotair.com, Michelle Malkin, etc. (neo cons).
Rush & Hannity (neo cons).
Steve Sailor (paleo con).*****


I can only fully subscribe to your description of Steve "Sailer" and fault you on the other descriptions. It should be painfully obvious that the biggest drumbeats on the neo-con reservation reverberate from the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal, and these were all for "immigration reform"


***** There is no "magic" liberalism charisma injection, Liberals like Hillary and Joe Biden are best described as "charisma challenged."*****

Why don't you read what I really said?

I did not say that all liberal pols are charasmatic and that no conservative ones are. I did not even say that liberals are generally more charasmatic than conservatives -- that may or may not be true, but it doesn't matter.

I said that the people are a great beast who is very easily misled by charasmatic liberals, and that a charasmatic liberal administration likely would have been able to shepherd this "immigration reform" legislation into law.

Therefore "the people" really don't deserve a whole lot of credit for inadvertently being on the right side of this issue.


***** JFK won because ... Nixon was a bad candidate.*****


Nixon made a number of mistakes, but he is largely regarded as having won the debates on substance. But the public judged him as the loser because of the charisma gap. This is old news; why are you arguing with me over it?


***** And he out hawked-Nixon and Ike.*****


And I mentioned his use of the phony missile gap. Being a charasmatic politician makes it easier to mislead voters.


***** If he hadn't been shot he might have gone down to defeat against almost anyone.*****

If that's true, it was principally because of his charisma, not because of his record or because he would have been the more deserving candidate.

You started this thread with a perjorative rhetorical question, but I'm still waiting for a countervailing argument from you.


***** And don't forget, Reagan had plenty of charisma and communication skills.*****


Nothing that I've said suggests otherwise.


***** What this fight showed was the internet, talk radio, and self-organized people putting attack ads...The Capitol phone system went down under calls...Talk Radio...the internet... Modern Technology allows the average joe etc.*****

Why don't you go back and read what I said? None of this countervails what I said.

I said that "the people" are a great beast who happened to be on the right side of this particular issue.

I said that "the people" do NOT deserve credit for possession of some sort of indomitable peasant wisom just because they were on the right side because a different leadership could have very easily misled them.

They were on the right side of this particular issue because the WRONG side was led by George W. Bush and not by Bill Clinton or by JFK.

Anonymous said...

Has he ever asked people if they think we need more immigrants to reduce the crime rate?

eh

Anonymous said...

Grizzly -- the people are the average joe and jane who get kicked in the teeth more often than not.

They are not a "great beast" unless you are afraid of letting joe and jane average have a say in how their lives are run.

The definition of that kind of person is: an elitist.

The people won this one because of the internet and cheap tools let them organize and make attack ads.

Since I am neither special, nor possessed of any birthright, nor figure myself better in any way than anyone else, I will celebrate this win by Joe Average. And I will leave it to you to hate the people because they don't do what you tell them to do.

Anonymous said...

JFK cut taxes, probably more than even Reagan, and certainly far more than Bush. Honestly he was probably significantly more conservative than the present president.

Dave said...

"JFK cut taxes, probably more than even Reagan, and certainly far more than Bush."

If memory serves (and I'm too lazy to look this up now), JFK cut the highest marginal income tax rate from about 90% to 70%, Reagan cut it from 70% to 28%, and Bush 43 cut it from 39.6% to 35% (after his father and Clinton had both raised it).

Snuffleuffagus said...

The best thing to do now would be to RAISE the top marginal tax rate to 50% or even 55%, along with CEO-gouging windfalls taxes.

We are way forward on the Laffer Curve, which is exactly the L/D by alpha (angle of attack) curve of an airfoil. We are actually in a power dive.

Along with that, start tariffing imports on every conceivable pretext, including environmental offset and worker safety fees, and a special tax on People's Republic of China products for the openly stated reason that we will have to go to war over Taiwan if they invade that island (which they are going to do) and that like charging criminals for their own imprisonment, we must bill them now to kill them later.

Dave said...

"The best thing to do now would be to RAISE the top marginal tax rate to 50% or even 55%, along with CEO-gouging windfalls taxes."

That will drive more businesses to relocate their headquarters to more business-friendly countries, and more mobile affluent professionals (hedge fund managers, consultants, etc.) to leave as well. One of the reasons Britain has had such a long economic boom, btw, is that it has attracted a couple hundred thousand extremely wealthy foreigners who pay no tax on income earned elsewhere.

Raising punitive tariffs on foreign good will lead to retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Contrary to popular belief, we have a thriving export sector here -- high-tech exporters like Boeing, John Deere, etc. are booming. They would get hammered by foreign tariffs, and their employees and shareholders would suffer. They might respond my moving more of their operations overseas, to avoid foreign tariffs against U.S. producers.

Higher tariffs would also dramatically raise the cost of living for average Americans.

Bashing business is no path to prosperity. A better policy would be to limit unskilled immigration to tighten the labor market at the low end and enact policies that make more businesses want to set up shop and create jobs here (e.g., a more competitive corporate tax rate, more protection against frivolous and costly lawsuits, etc.).

Glaivester said...

Has he ever asked people if they think we need more immigrants to reduce the crime rate?

As long as they are spayed or neutered so that they don't have high-crime-rate children (while immigrants tend to have low crime rates, the children of Hispanic immigrants tend to have higher crime rates than the rest of the native population).

As for the article you linked to,

Let's translate this quote:

The theory holds that waves of hardworking, ambitious immigrants reinvigorate desperately poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods and help keep crime down.

I think he means that immigrants drive the blacks out of the neighborhoods, thus reducing the crime rate.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

***** Grizzly -- the people are the average joe and jane who get kicked in the teeth more often than not.*****



I guess that "the people" are getting the sort of leadership that they deserve then, aren't they?

Beasts vote other beasts into office.



***** They are not a "great beast" unless you are afraid of letting joe and jane average have a say in how their lives are run.*****



Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Democracy ultimately allows the wolves to have a say in how the sheep's life is run.



***** The definition of that kind of person is: an elitist.*****


Oh well, why didn't you say so then? An elitist! Yuck! I sure don't want to be that terrible awful horrible thing. OK, rhetoric wins out over all else. I guess that I'll have to withdraw everything that I said then.



***** The people won this one because of the internet and cheap tools let them organize and make attack ads.*****



Right. The people were on the right side of this particular struggle, and my point is that they could have just as easily been on the wrong side of it.

"The people" have been wrong in the past and will be wrong again in the future.

For the purpose of this discussion, I have acknowledged that "the people" were right on the issue at hand, but that doesn't affect my overall point. I'm not in the least interested in HOW the struggle over the issue at hand was won, nor is your discussion of it even remotely responsive to my point.



***** Since I am neither special, nor possessed of any birthright, nor figure myself better in any way than anyone else****


On this, we are in complete accord. I don't regard you as special, or possessed of any birthright or better than anyone else myself.




***** I will celebrate this win by Joe Average. And I will leave it to you to hate the people because they don't do what you tell them to do.*****


Gee whiz, Bill Clinton! What can I possibly say in response when you purse your lips, roll your eyes, and grab the moral high ground?

Why don't I get to play with the moral high ground for once? OTHER KIDS get to play with the moral high ground! Mommy! Anonymous won't share the moral high ground!

Glaivester said...

I'm also happy about the death of "immigration reform", but I always cringe when conservatives -- at a time when the public is siding with them -- bray happily about how the "will of the people" has been served...

The Senate measure failed, not because "the people" possessed some sort of enduring peasant wisdom that inevitably saw through the machinations of the politicians.


I think you miss the point. It' no so much that people are smarter than the elties or have some kind of innate wisdom.

That assumes that the other side of the debate was acting in good faith, and that the people saw the truth when the elites didn't.

Rather, the issue is that the elites wanted to do something that everybody knew would be bad for the common people. Not just people with wisdom, but everyone. The reason they wanted to do this is because they don't care about the common people and would gladly sacrifice them to get what they want.

The people defeated it, not because they had special wisdom to figure out what was going on, but because they finally grew the backbone not to let the elites defecate on them.

The story isn't "the will of the people has been served!" but rather "the interests of the people have been protected because the people were willing to fight for them!"

Donutburger said...

The best thing to do now would be to RAISE the top marginal tax rate to 50% or even 55%, along with CEO-gouging windfalls taxes."

That will drive more businesses to relocate their headquarters to more business-friendly countries, and more mobile affluent professionals (hedge fund managers, consultants, etc.) to leave as well. One of the reasons Britain has had such a long economic boom, btw, is that it has attracted a couple hundred thousand extremely wealthy foreigners who pay no tax on income earned elsewhere.

Raising punitive tariffs on foreign good will lead to retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Contrary to popular belief, we have a thriving export sector here -- high-tech exporters like Boeing, John Deere, etc. are booming. They would get hammered by foreign tariffs, and their employees and shareholders would suffer. They might respond my moving more of their operations overseas, to avoid foreign tariffs against U.S. producers.


Britain's factory workers, small farmers, and most of their small-business owners haven't and won't benefit from that. All it does is drive real estate prices, especially near London, further to the stratosphere.

I'd love to see a new startup somewhere undercut Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, Bombardier, Beech Aircraft. Drain a few gallons of profit-blood out from their executive staff, who get all the benefit. Thirty years ago, the ramp at my local airport was filled with Cessnas owned by UAW autoworkers, millwrights, machinists, etc. All gone now: all I hear is the howling of bizjet turbofans.

Ditto with John Deere's overpriced high tech junk tractors.