Anti-immigrant passion also owes much to the disproportionate influence of a few small states in the nominating process. National polls show that, as an issue, immigration is far behind the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy, and health care as a concern to most Americans; a recent Pew poll shows that, nationally, only six per cent of voters offer immigration as the most important issue facing the country. But in Iowa and South Carolina, two of the three most important early states, it is a top concern for the Republicans who are most likely to vote.
And there you have it, yet another tribute to America’s bizarre system of selecting presidential nominees. Of course one assumes that the larger national audience of Hispanics who Republicans were so actively courting just a couple of years ago hasn’t missed how quickly everyone — even Saint John McCain, Man of Principle — has been willing to toss them overboard.