* Tom Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a close ally of the GOP, has some tough words for his friends on the question of whether they can pass immigration reform: “If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.”
ICYMI: Here’s our chart showing what the Latino share of the vote will look like in key states in 2016.
“There are some members of my party that just do not want to deal with this, It’s no secret. But I do believe the vast majority of members of our party do want to deal with this, and they want to deal with this honestly, openly and fairly.”
Great! But…he does remember that he’s Speaker of the House, right? And that he can schedule a vote whenever he wants, on whatever he wants?
* The Senate race in Michigan is getting rough. Republican Terri Lynn Land has been airing ads touting her modest roots growing up in a trailer park; Democrat Gary Peters responds with a very tough ad saying Land later bought the trailer park and evicted 170 families so she could sell it. And it’s only May!
* Georgia’s Senate primary is next week, and the bruising more-conservative-than-thou contest on the GOP side is almost certainly headed for a run-off when none of the candidates cracks 50 percent. A new poll shows Democrat Michelle Nunn running even with all the Republicans, meaning this is one seat that could slip away from the GOP.
* However, Jonathan Bernstein offers some typically sober advice on why the early polls just don’t tell us much.
* The chart of the day, courtesy of Steve Benen, neatly demonstrates a key dynamic about Obamacare: When Kentuckians were asked whether they had a favorable of Obamacare, they said no, by a 24-point margin. When asked whether they had a favorable view of Kynect, they said yes, by a 7-point margin. Kynect is the state exchange created by…you guessed it.
* E. J. Dionne notes a core problem Democrats face in the miderms: They can’t be overly enthusiastic about their economic message, no matter how good the short-term news is, because of the long-term problems with the economy they’re trying to address. That gives Republicans a built-in advantage:
Their agenda may look like a catalog of Fox News obsessions — last month it was Obamacare, currently it’s Benghazi. But they will not stop blaming Obama and his party for all the country’s shortcomings. Democrats, by contrast, feel constrained from offering an unambiguously sunny rebuttal…even as Democrats respond to widespread discontent, they also need to convince Americans that Obama’s tenure gives them a good deal to cheer about. Doing both at once is more challenging than incessantly repeating the word “Benghazi.”
* Over the weekend, legislators in Vermont voted to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 an hour by 2018.
* Ari Berman notes a key trend: The debate over voting rights is shifting, with voter ID laws losing in the courts and even some Republicans like Rand Paul acknowledging they were always about voter suppression.
* Over at the American Prospect, I wrote about why conservative activists drive polarization, but liberal activists don’t. The conservatives think nationally and act locally, while the liberals think locally and act locally.
* And both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs today. Boy, Obama’s Kenyan Muslim Saul Alinsky Marxist socialist project to attack job creators and destroy America is really not going well.