A new strategy memo from James Carville and Stan Greenberg says the discontent with Republicans "has moved now to a new level" and that the GOP's motivation in pushing an immigration bill is "to consolidate and energize their voters in a near lethal environment."
Key findings from a new survey:
- Among self-identified Republicans, 40% say the country is headed in the wrong direction and 24% want to go "in a significantly different direction than Bush."
- In red counties, those carried by Bush in 2004, 64% say the country is headed in the wrong direction and Republican have only a 48% to 43% lead in the races for Congress.
- In white rural areas, 61% say wrong direction; and amazingly, Democrats and Republicans are running even in the races for both the House and Senate.
To further exploit this fractured GOP base, Carville and Greenberg advise Democrats to also use the immigration issue by offering "realistic solutions to this big problem. This means addressing acculturation and English requirements for citizenship, enforcement and a respect for the law, and paths to citizenship for the law-abiding. They also will do well attacking the Bush administration for failing to enforce the law at the borders and with employers."