In presidential elections, each candidate’s “personality sometimes trumps issues” that would otherwise sway voters, said Nick Everhart, president of the Ohio-based Strategy Group for Media consulting firm.
“Whatever the demographic or gender groups are, at the end of the day, if the [candidate's] personality isn’t one that can believably have that [policy] position … it undermines the message,” he said.
Romney’s campaign has stayed quiet on the immigration issue since he won the GOP nomination.
But in several campaign appearances, Romney has said he favors high-skill immigration, rather that today’s emphasis on low-skill workers, including the relatives of low-skill immigrants.
“I’d like to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill and knowledge,” Romney told funders during a covertly videotaped meeting in May. The current emphasis on low-skill immigration “is a very strange setup,” he added, “run by people who don’t understand that we’re in a global competition of ideas.”
Obama’s Univision commitment to increase immigration to boost low-skill immigration came as the percentage of working-age Americans with jobs dropped from 60.6 percent in early 2009 to 58.4 percent in August 2012.
That fall-off amounts to roughly 3.9 million working-age Americans who have dropped out of the workforce, and off the unemployment numbers.
Overall, the working-age population includes 23 million unemployed and underemployed people, as well as 24 million foreign-born workers, according to the BLS. The foreign-born workers include roughly 8 million working-age illegal immigrants.
Roughly 26 percent of all immigrants, and 44 percent of Hispanic immigrants, lack a high school degree, and they’re competing for jobs against the 5.1 percent of the native U.S. population with a comparable education level, according to the Sept. 11 report by the Economic Policy Institute.
Four percent of native born whites, 6.7 percent of native born African-Americans and 11.6 percent of native born Hispanics lack high school degrees.
After a decade of high immigration during President George W. Bush’s terms, immigrants comprise 16.2 percent of the American workforce in 2011, said the EPI’s report.
Democratic legislators generally oppose any reduction in immigration, or any shift to high-skill immigration. On Sept. 20, for example, nearly all House Democrats voted against a bill that would have converting 50,000 annual “diversity visas” into visas for high-skill immigrants. nearly all Republicans voted for the measure.
Similarly, Mishel declined to blame immigration for any of the economic stress faced by low-skill workers, despite the data in his lengthy Sept. 11 report. “The labor surplus overall is what is the problem,” not immigration of extra workers, he insisted.
The Center for American Progress declined to comment for this article.
Despite the harmful impact on Americans workers and his base voters, Obama doubled-down on immigration Sept. 20, when he used a Univision appearance to declare that his “biggest failure” was not winning a broad amnesty for many illegals.
He promised to use a second term to push for a “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is the picked jargon for a large-scale amnesty of the estimated 8 million illegal immigrants in the labor force.
“I have never wavered in my support of comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama said.