Rubio’s immigration reform pitch:
Sean Trende finds reason to believe the bill is in the GOP’s best interest:
Softening its tone on immigration could help the GOP with moderate white voters, just as outreach efforts to African-Americans are frequently targeted more at this vote source.
But the obvious potential source of additional votes would be among moderate or conservative Hispanics. In fact, it is safe to say that this is what Republicans are really playing for here. Remember, the name of the game for the party isn’t to win Hispanics by the same share that they win whites, or even to win them outright. Republicans wouldn’t mind that, but it is unlikely to happen, given that Hispanics tend to be poorer and less conservative than their white counterparts.
Instead, what Republicans are trying to do is narrow the gap between Hispanics and whites among ideological and income groups. If moderate and conservative Hispanics had voted like moderate and conservative whites in 2008, John McCain would have lost the Hispanic vote by just two points.
Chait remains bullish on immigration reform’s chances:
There’s something ritualistic about the conservative objections Rubio is getting. It’s not a real revolt. They’re going through the motions to prove to their audience that they have kept their purity, but conservative talk-show hosts and other activist types are not, for the most part, actually doing what it would take to kill the bill.