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Yesterday was an earthquake of a day in DC, and while it poses big challenges it shows more than ever why FWD.us and all of your support is so critical.
Yesterday morning when I got on the train and arrived in DC, people were worried about Senator Lindsey Graham getting to 50% in his primary, and fairly certain House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would sail to victory. That obviously didn’t happen. Leader Cantor had lost and Senator Graham was sailing to an over 55% victory in a crowded field, avoiding a runoff. To put Cantor’s shocking loss in perspective, it's the first time since the 19th century that a House Leader has lost in a primary.
Here’s how we think this is likely to go: over the next few days, you will see a lot of the press saying Eric Cantor’s loss was due to immigration reform. DC groupthink will be in full effect and you’ll see headlines hyping this as a huge blow to our efforts to pass reform. These are the same reporters who have alternatively declared immigration sailing along smoothly and entirely dead many times before.
But immigration is not to blame for Eric Cantor’s loss last night. Even Erick Erickson - the influential conservative blogger who is a strong opponent of immigration reform - tweeted last night “Dear Media: you will make the Cantor loss all about immigration. You will be wrong. But it will be useful to us. So thanks.”
The good news is this - that while we will have some bumpy press, we actually have a fantastic polling presentation today with 10 of the leading pollsters in the Republican party. The timing will be good for pushing back on this false narrative.
These dynamics remain:
- Every Republican who has leaned in on immigration reform and explained it to their constituents has won. Handily. Lindsey Graham got 56% in a very conservative, very crowded South Carolina Republican primary. Congresswoman Renee Elmers won in North Carolina easily as well.
- There are people on both sides of the aisle working hard to get this done
- At the end of the day Speaker Boehner and his Republican conference need to decide to put votes on the floor this year. There is no reason to wait.
But here is what really matters:
Every single day, our economy loses $38 million dollars; we have an immigration system that is outdated and broken; and there are 11 million undocumented immigrants who need a process to get right with law and live their lives as they deserve.