Politics
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit in Washington October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit in Washington October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  

House Dems Sideline Amnesty, Minimum-wage, For Fall 2014

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Democrats planning this fall’s election campaign will sideline the president’s call to hike the minimum wage and his effort to double the inflow of foreign workers and immigrants, say Democrats who briefed a New York Times reporter on their 2014 campaign research.

Instead, they’ll portray Republicans as uncaring protectors of government perks and corporate wealth, and as hostile to equal pay for men and women, say Democrats who briefed a New York Times reporter on their 2014 campaign research.

Democrats’ demands for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 per hour “concerns [Democratic-leaning] voters but doesn’t necessarily motivate them to vote in the midterms,” Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

But Democrats said the minimum-wage pitch does actually work for the growing Latino slice of the electorate.

“The polling of Hispanic voters showed that a wage increase was a winning issue with that constituency, which saw the economy as its most important issue,” said the Times’ report, which did not mention the supposedly election-winning issue of immigration.

However, the president is likely to keep pushing the immigration issue, partly because he can use the political stalemate to persuade Latinos to view the GOP as hostile to their ethnic group. That tasks is made easier by the GOP’s internal split, which prevents it from appealing to Latinos as either the party of greater Latino immigration or the party that would increase Latinos’ wages by lowering immigration.

Many Hispanic voters are low-skill immigrants, or the children of low-skill immigrants, and have little marketplace leverage to raise their wages amid continuing immigration, widespread automation and corporate outsourcing.

Latinos comprised a little more than 8 percent of the turnout in 2012. But they’re less likely to vote in midterm elections, so Democrats are looking for ways to boost Latino turnout.

“Democrats say the most heartening finding was that economic themes that rally committed Democratic voters also serve to encourage unaffiliated voters and the so-called drop-off Democrats – those who voted in the presidential election but might not vote this year,” the newspaper reported.

Democratic consultants used data from 67 districts and 16 focus groups, to road-test various campaign themes.

“The most effective one featured a fictitious Republican congressman who backed the government shutdown but continued to collect his check while the House gym remained open” the newspaper said.

In TV ads, “you can expect to see… Republicans protecting their perks while turning their backs on the middle class,” Israel told the newspaper.

For more than a year, Obama and his progressive and business allies have pushed the GOP to vote for a bill that would sharply increase the inflow of Latino immigrants and university-trained guest-workers. Some progressives have even argued that the GOP’s support for more immigration would increase their support among Latinos.

The Senate’s version of the immigration bill would boost legal immigration to 33 million over the next 10 years.

Even though most of the immigrants likely will end up voting Democratic after 2030, business executives have pressure GOP leaders to approve the politically disastrous immigration increase.

Democrats claimed to the NYT that the Obamcare issue reduces GOP support among swing-voters.

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