A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 60 percent of Republicans oppose a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, even as 57 percent of all Americans -- and a similar majority of independents -- favor one.
So, what do those numbers mean for the likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform passing Congress? Since the real battle over immigration reform is likely to be in the House, where Republicans still hold a clear majority, let's look at that chamber.
For Republicans seeking to cast off the image of the party as intolerant of opposing views and lifestyles, it's been one step forward and two steps back of late.
Less than two weeks after the Republican National Committee unveiled its 2012 election autopsy an emphasis on broadening the party's tent, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) used an ethnic slur for Latinos in a radio interview Thursday. Young's comments served as the latest wake-up call for Republicans in their nascent effort to woo a more diverse cross-section of America.
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), under fire Friday for describing Hispanic migrant workers as "wetbacks," is no stranger to controversy. The combative House veteran has been a frequent target of ethics watchdogs and has made his share of enemies.
Here's a timeline of Young's brushes with infamy.
1994: During a congressional hearing, while arguing with then-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Mollie Beattie, Young brandished an 18-inch-long walrus penis bone and pounded it into his hand for emphasis.
And, while it's worth reading the whole thing, let's be honest: you're not going to do that. That's where we come in! The Fix has leafed through the full report and plucked out the 10 most important bits. They are below.
Over the years, we've grappled with the best way to describe Sarah Palin -- particularly after she left office as the governor of Alaska in mid 2009.
She morphed from an unknown politician in 2006 to a nationally recognized one in 2008 and then into something else entirely after her failed bid for vice president, a reality TV star and perhaps the single most recognizable and divisive figure within the Republican party.
Republicans in Washington are rejoicing this morning in the wake of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster over CIA nominee John Brennan.
And, as we wrote this morning, it's hard to argue that the filibuster wasn't a major win for Paul -- particularly in light of his not-so-closely-held 2016 aspirations. But, there's an argument to be made -- and we give credit to WaPo's Paul Kane for bringing this to our attention -- that what happened in the Senate last night wasn't a good moment for the broader Republican party. (Some GOP Senators clearly agree; Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to defend the Obama Administration's stance on drones.)
Republicans are a party divided at the moment. There is an establishment wing of the party and, for lack of a better descriptor, a tea party wing of the party. While the two sides often get along, there are clear differences in tone and approach when it comes to issues like gay marriage and immigration among others.
More than 100 big-name Republicans have signed a new brief urging the Supreme Court to codify the right to gay marriage in one of the biggest shifts toward embracing gay marriage in the recent history of the GOP.
But while significant, the shift is less than meets the eye.
The fact is that the vast majority of the signers are no longer in office or never were and don't have to worry about their next election (New York Rep. Richard Hanna and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are the only federal officeholders on the list). For Republicans who have to face their party's voters ever few years, it's a much harder hill to climb, and that will prevent the larger party from embracing gay marriage any time soon.
The sexy headline out of the new Pew Research Center poll is that more than six in ten Americans view the Republican party as "out of touch with the American people" while a majority (52 percent) believe the party is "too extreme."
And, while those numbers are telling, a look deeper into the poll exposes the bigger problem for the GOP: The party is deeply divided (fractured?) -- with many people who describe themselves as Republicans holding decidedly negative opinions about their side.
The American people want spending cuts, just not those spending cuts.
For a while, we've been talking on this blog about how polls show American people love the idea of reforming entitlements like Medicare and Social Security -- until, that is, they realize specifically what those changes will be.
Well, when it comes to spending cuts, we've got much the same situation. While Americans are pretty united in their call for Washington to cut out the fat, there is considerably less unanimity about what, exactly, constitutes fat.
Republicans would bear more of the blame for a failure to reach a deal on the looming federal spending cuts known as the sequester, but most Americans are tuned out of the debate and many don't oppose allowing the cuts to go into effect.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center and USA Today -- the first wide-ranging poll to look at the issue of the sequester -- shows a failure to reach a deal would lead 49 percent of Americans to blame congressional Republicans and 31 percent to blame President Obama.
Many Americans support the way that Republicans want to adjust how some states award their electoral votes.
But that doesn't mean there's going to be any new life breathed into the dying effort.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that neither awarding electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis to the winner of the statewide vote nor awarding them by congressional district gains majority support. Forty-six percent prefer the winner-take-all method, while 41 percent prefer to do it by congressional district, as Republicans in some key states are proposing. The rest are unsure.
The tension between establishment Republicans and conservative outside groups has reached a fever pitch with the launch of a new Karl Rove-backed project aimed at nominating electable GOP Senate candidates.
The national Republican Party, quite simply, is tired of having less-electable GOP candidates emerge from primaries and -- to their minds -- cost them Senate seats.
As Sean Sullivan and I noted this afternoon, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has undergone a pretty significant political evolution over the past decade on the issue of illegal immigration.
But while he may be the best example of the GOP's uncertainty on the issue, he's hardly the only Republican/conservative to shift positions/emphases over the course of his career.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asked his fellow Republicans to shift their focus outside of Washington, D.C. in his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting.
Doing so might cheer them up a little.
While the party's Washington contingent is struggling mightily, the GOP retains full control of nearly half the state governments across the nation. And that control, combined with the just-completed round of redistricting, has set up Republicans to hold onto many of those state governments -- and by extension, the U.S. House of Representatives -- for potentially the next decade or more.
It's hard to get 70 percent of Americans to agree on much of anything these days. But, for the first time, one of those things is Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
According to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, released on the law's 40th anniversary Tuesday, fully seven in 10 Americans say they would oppose the overturning of the Supreme Court decision. And perhaps more remarkably, 57 percent say they "feel strongly" that it should not be overturned.
Chris Christie is immensely popular and is a huge favorite for reelection in New Jersey this year, with voters from across the political spectrum giving him the thumbs up.
When it comes to the national conservative base, though, the governor is at risk of earning a different one-finger salute.
Christie is already on probation with some conservatives for his praise of President Obama's work on Hurricane Sandy in the closing days of the 2012 election -- something a few critics have even suggested put the president over the top.
We've written many times on this blog about the fact that Republicans in Congress have very little incentive to come to the middle on the big issues before the country.
And a new poll from the Pew Research Center says it all: Quite simply, it's because the GOP base demands principles over compromise.
According to the new national Pew survey, 50 percent of Americans would rather that their elected officials "make compromises with people they disagree with" rather than "stick to their positions" (44 percent).
As we wrote Tuesday, the impact on the political landscape of changing the way states award their electoral votes should not be underestimated.
In fact, if every state awarded electoral votes by congressional district (like Republicans in some blue and swing states are proposing) Mitt Romney would be the one sworn in as our next president on Sunday, rather than losing by 126 electoral votes.
Retired Gen. Colin Powell delivered a surprisingly blunt assessment of his party's relationship with minorities in an overlooked but fascinating portion of his interview on "Meet the Press" Sunday.
Asked by "MTP" moderator David Gregory to both diagnose what ails the Republican party and justify his ties to it -- given that he endorsed President Obama in 2008 and 2012 -- Powell responded this way:
Jim DeMint's decision to resign from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation stunned the political world when he made it late last year.
In an op-ed on the Post website now, DeMint seeks to explain himself and, in so doing, exposes a critically important point about the shifting power centers in politics.
Republicans are having a tough time. Losing an election isn't fun (especially when you thought you had a good chance) and the party now has to deal with some demographic challenges that could determine its long-term viability.
But it could be worse.
Specifically, Republicans could be hemorrhaging voters to the Democrats. But as Washington Post/ABC News polling data and new Gallup numbers show, that's not entirely the case.
Former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) be nominated later today as Defense Secretary, setting the stage for what appears set to be a contentious nomination fight.
And when it comes to that fight, Hagel will have a tough time finding many character witnesses from his former GOP colleagues.
President Obama on Wednesday called for members of Congress to summon something they aren't known for: courage.
Obama at a news conference said members -- presumably most of them Republicans -- need to gather "one tiny iota of the courage those teachers in Newtown summoned on Friday" in order to pass gun control.
A coalition of conservative groups is releasing a major study of Latino voters in four key states this morning, and Republicans would be wise to heed its lessons.
Resurgent Republic and the Hispanic Leadership Network are presenting the findings of their study at 9 a.m. Eastern. The polls of Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada show Republicans remain in contention for as many as half of Latino voters in those four states in 2016, but fewer than one-quarter of Latinos in each state say they are likely to vote Republican four years from now.
Bob Corker is great, but if Democrats are going to get Republicans to agree to tax increases on the wealthy, they need Rep. Bob Gibbs.
Republicans are gradually moving toward accepting revenue increases as a part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff." So far, though, the cast of characters who have jumped onboard with the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy is missing something.
There's a reason President Obama has spent part of his time during "fiscal cliff" negotiations appealing to voters: They are Democrats' ace on the hole.
In fact, poll after poll shows Democrats have the American public on their side when it comes to the major issues at hand in the fiscal cliff talks.
And more and more, it's looking like Republicans have very little leverage -- at least, when it comes to public sentiment.
Sometimes a man and a moment meet. That man is Jeb Bush. That moment is now.
As we wrote on Wednesday, the Republican Party is largely leaderless at the moment -- drifting as it seeks some sort of new (or new-ish) direction to head on fiscal cliff and immigration, among other other issues.
The only person capable of herding the party not only in a unified direction but also a direction that can solve (or at least address) the GOP's issues -- demographic and otherwise -- is the former governor of Florida.
Mitt Romney is gone -- and being quickly forgotten. George W. Bush has little to no interest in engaging in the national political dialogue. Dick Cheney is writing a book about heart health. The 2016 wannabes remain relatively little known -- and untested on the national stage.
What's left is a Republican party without a leader, a body without a head. And, that lack of a single individual to push the party in a specific direction is already hurting the GOP with cracks appearing in the party's approach to the fiscal cliff negotiations.
President Obama has hit the road to make his case to voters on his plan to avert the "fiscal cliff," in hopes that they will lean on their members of Congress to support a deal.
But while Republicans writ large have sounded a more conciliatory tone since their election loss a month ago, we know little about what House Republicans are thinking right now.
It's not an easy time to be a Republican these days.
Not only did the party lose at all three levels -- presidential, Senate, governor -- on Nov. 6 but the 2012 election also exposed long-term demographic problems for which the party has no easy answers.
And yet, amid the dark cloud cast by the election a silver lining has begun to appear in the form of two top-tier Senate recruits for the 2014 election.
Much of the news coverage of the so-called "fiscal cliff" in recent days has focused on whether Republicans are willing to violate their Grover Norquist-sponsored pledge not to vote to raise taxes.
But what if the the Norquist pledge doesn't even apply to the current situation?
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) doesn't think it does. And Norquist and his group -- Americans for Tax Reform -- aren't saying that Cole is wrong.
Going into election day 2012, Republicans were very confident that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had a 50-50 chance of winning the presidency. It didn't turn out that way.
Answering the "why" posed by that discrepancy is of critical import for Republicans as they move forward to 2014 and 2016. And, a new piece by Glen Bolger, a GOP pollster and partner at Public Opinion Strategies, explains both why Republicans should have won -- and why they didn't -- as succinctly as anything we have read since the election.
So just what kind of price would Republicans pay for breaking their pledges and voting to raise taxes?
If history is any judge, it certainly won't help. Above, we look at a Gallup chart of George H.W. Bush's approval ratings at two key junctures during the budget debate of 1990.
The first line is from the end of June, when Bush said for the first time that he would push for a tax increase, in contrast to his previous "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. His approval rating dropped from 69 percent to 60 percent by mid-July.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday that he will seek another two-year term for his current job and says he has far more support than he needs to keep it.
In an e-mail to supporters, Priebus said he has commitments from 130 of 168 members.He only needs the support of a majority of members -- 85.
Republicans don't want Mitt Romney to go away mad but they do, it seems, want him to go away.
That sentiment was in full bloom following Romney's first post-election comments -- made on a phone call with donors earlier this week. On the call, Romney attributed his loss to the "gifts" President Obama's campaign doled out to young people and minorities. For many, the comments had an eerie echo of the secretly taped "47 percent" remarks Romney made at a May fundraiser.
One week ago, the voting public roundly rejected Republicans at the presidential and Senate level and, while the party kept control of the House, it did so while winning fewer overall votes than Democrats.
Most GOP strategists and politicians acknowledge that the 2012 election amounted to a moment of reckoning for the party -- a time when Republicans finally came face to face with the demographic realities and base problems that badly jeopardize its future as a national majority party.
In the three days since the 2012 election, a who's who of Republicans have admitted the obvious: the party's current position on immigration is politically untenable.
"I think members on both sides of the aisle want to resolve this issue," House Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Friday morning. Earlier in the week he told ABC News: "This issue has been around far too long.A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I'm confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all."
Despite a very good map at the start of the cycle, Senate Republicans have had to spend more than 40 percent of their money on defense in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign.
A review of spending by the Republican and Democratic senatorial committees’ independent expenditure arms — perhaps the best way to suss out which races are the most competitive — reveals that Republicans so far have spent 59 percent of their funds on Democratic-held seats (offense) and 41 percent on Republican-held seats (defense).
TAMPA — Republicans have accused President Obama of trading in his message of hope and change for Chicago-style politics.
But their own new vice presidential pick also took a step down from the political high road on Wednesday night, or at least exposed himself to criticism of playing fast and loose with the facts.
TAMPA — The Republican Party is increasingly reliant on the votes of white men and Southerners.
Despite losing in the 2008 presidential race, Republicans took 54 percent of the Southern vote and 57 percent of white men, and in recent elections, these have been their most reliable demographics.
But if youve been watching the Republican National Convention this week, youll notice that old Southern twang is mysteriously absent from the stage.
Updated at 4:39 p.m.
TAMPA — Grassroots Republican activists and Ron Paul supporters came up shy in their effort to beat back two major rule changes Tuesday at the Republican National Convention.
Amidst a contentious scene on the floor of the convention, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) ruled that the committee rules had passed by a voice vote — despite loud protest from many in the arena.
Ted Cruz’s come-from-behind victory in the Texas GOP Senate runoff on Tuesday — and the near-certainty that he will cruise to a general election win in November — ensures he will immediately join a rapidly growing group of rising national Republican stars that have one big thing in common: None of them are white.
New polling from the Pew Research Center reveals that the number of Republicans who believe the government should “take care of people who can’t take care of themselves” has dropped precipitously over the past two decades, a decline that speaks to a broader — and growing — skepticism from within the GOP regarding the role for government in people’s lives.
Back in 1987, 62 percent of self-identified Republicans in the Pew poll said they the government should take care of those who can’t do it themselves. That number has declined to 40 percent in the latest Pew survey, which was released earlier this week.
Support among independents for that view of government has declined over that time period as well, though far less deeply than it has among GOPers. Support among Democrats has stayed static.
With all the focus in the Republican presidential race on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s struggles with conservatives, we got to wondering about the other end of the ideological spectrum within the Republican party.
Put simply: How many Republicans identify themselves as moderates or liberals in exit polling conducted in the 2012 race to date? And are there enough centrists in the party to deliver Romney the nomination?
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh’s description of a Georgetown Law school student named Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her position on employer-funded birth control has Republican strategists concerned that their party and its candidates will experience political blowback — particularly among independent women.
Three-term Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) is making headlines for his fundraising — and not in a good way.
A federal grand jury in Florida is looking at allegations that Buchanan, the vice chairman of finance for the National Republican Congressional Committee, broke the law by reimbursing donors to his political campaigns. FBI and IRS agents have contacted former employees of Buchanan’s car dealership network who allege financial wrongdoing.
Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter said Thursday that Rick Santorum got his facts wrong when he said that he endorsed Specter only after securing a promise that Specter would support GOP Supreme Court nominees.
At Wednesday night's debate in Arizona, Santorum (as he is often forced to do) defended his 2004 endorsement of Specter. Specter at the time was a moderate Republican facing a conservative primary challenge, and the GOP stood by its incumbent, feeling he had the best chance to win in a nominally blue state.
Top Republicans are calling for a review of the methods used in presidential caucuses after a series of vote-counting mishaps in three early states.
Maine on Tuesday became the latest state to fall victim to the caucus bug, with a local report noting that the state GOP declared Mitt Romney the winner of a close race without many localities reporting votes in the totals, including some that had submitted their results and some whose caucuses were set for later this month.
It was just the latest foible in what has been a very rough year for the caucus format.
Donald Trump has an uncanny knack for inserting himself into the center of the 2012 Republican race.
First it was as a potential candidate and the leading voice of the discredited birther movement. Then it was as a must-stop for Republican presidential candidates, with frontrunner du jour Newt Gingrich being the most recent aspirant to kiss the ring. Trump’s latest iteration is as debate moderator in a Newsmax-sponsored forum in Iowa on Dec. 27.
President Obama may be struggling with a bad economy and flagging poll numbers, but his party is still more popular than the alternative.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 48 percent of people view the Democratic Party favorably, compared to just 40 percent who view Republicans in a good light.
In addition, recent polling has shown Democrats re-asserting a lead on the generic ballot, when voters are given a choice between a nameless Democrat and a nameless Republican.
What it reveals is a conservative electorate that is very excited about beating Obama, but not so excited about putting Republicans back in power.
Elections are all about intensity. People who are excited about their candidate — or excited to send a message to the other guy or gal — are much more likely to vote.
And that’s why new numbers from Gallup out this morning are such a major problem for President Obama and Democrats on the ballot in 2012.
While most Republican leaders have been careful to avoid talk of a government shutdown, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said on Monday that he didn't think it temporary closure of the federal government would be such a bad thing.
Personally I think there's nothing wrong with a government shutdown," Steele told ABC News' "Top Line" program. "It is the shocker. It is the reality check that the spenders need to have.