Poll: What Are the Chances of Congress Overhauling Immigration This Year?

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 Attendees hold signs calling for immigration reform during a rally in support of immigration reform, in Washington, on October 8, 2013.
National Journal
Michael Catalini Sarah Mimms and Peter Bell
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Michael Catalini Sarah Mimms and Peter Bell
June 12, 2014, 5 p.m.

On bal­ance, what are the chances that Con­gress will pass an over­haul of the im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem this year?*

DEMO­CRATS (93 VOTES)

Very likely: 0%
Some­what likely: 7%
Some­what un­likely: 26%
Very un­likely: 67%

Some­what un­likely

“Mes­sage to GOP on im­mig­ra­tion: No guts, no glory!”

“Lost op­por­tun­ity of the Con­gress; only a Hail Mary dur­ing the lame-duck ses­sion gets us to yes this year.”

“Re­pub­lic­ans might get mo­tiv­ated preelec­tion, but most of them are in safe, white dis­tricts. Don’t need those folks’ votes.”

“The fault line runs through the House Re­pub­lic­an caucus, and the odds slightly fa­vor those who want no ac­tion.”

Very un­likely

“The tea-party caucus in the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives rules.”

“Im­mig­ra­tion re­form was on life sup­port, and Can­tor’s de­feat pulled the plug.”

“There seems to be little polit­ic­al im­petus for Re­pub­lic­ans at this point (on any­thing, not just im­mig­ra­tion).”

“House Re­pub­lic­ans won’t save them­selves from los­ing the next four pres­id­en­tial elec­tions.”

“No mat­ter what Boehner et al say, their right wing simply won’t tol­er­ate it. They’ve already writ­ten Lati­nos off for the midterms.”

“Can­tor.”

“It will take polit­ic­al guts for Re­pub­lic­ans to do what’s right — and there­fore it won’t hap­pen.”

“Neither side really wants re­form. The Demo­crats want to blame the Re­pub­lic­ans for not re­form­ing the sys­tem, and the Re­pub­lic­ans want cheap labor without the be­ne­fits of cit­izen­ship.”

“Same is true for 95 per­cent of all the oth­er is­sues fa­cing Con­gress.”

“Care for some tea with that de­port­a­tion pa­per?”

“See [cov­er­age] of the Vir­gin­ia con­gres­sion­al primary.”

On bal­ance, what are the chances that Con­gress will pass an over­haul of the im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem this year?*

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (88 VOTES)

Very likely: 0%
Some­what likely: 10%
Some­what un­likely: 25%
Very un­likely: 65%

Some­what likely

“GOP needs to take it off the table.”

“If Re­pub­lic­ans want to be cred­ible in the pres­id­en­tial race in ‘16, this is an open­ing bid.”

Some­what un­likely

“Con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans are poised to gain seats in Novem­ber, and they aren’t go­ing to risk that by push­ing im­mig­ra­tion re­form.”

“Do we really want to go through a third pres­id­en­tial primary pro­cess risk­ing someone pan­der­ing on this is­sue? If Re­pub­lic­ans can’t get it done be­fore the elec­tion, take care of it dur­ing the lame duck.”

“Too easy to do noth­ing. They’re good at it.”

“No real ap­pet­ite on the Re­pub­lic­an side, and Dems would rather have the polit­ic­al is­sue than a bill.”

“There will be a ma­jor over­re­ac­tion to the Can­tor loss.”

Very un­likely

“This really was not what Eric Can­tor’s loss was about, but con­ven­tion­al wis­dom will hold oth­er­wise.”

“Why change a do-noth­ing strategy when it’s work­ing?”

“Can­tor loss sinks any chance, which was very slim.”

“If Re­pub­lic­ans ever fig­ure out how im­port­ant this is, they will do something, but the Demo­crats will not let them do any­thing.”

“Are there any pro­files in cour­age in the Sen­ate and House? Not in an elec­tion year.”

“Is that a pig I see fly­ing? Nope? Then I’ll say, ‘Very un­likely.’ “

*The ma­jor­ity of re­spond­ents answered this ques­tion be­fore Eric Can­tor’s primary loss.

… … … … .

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Jill Alp­er, John An­za­lone, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Matt Ben­nett, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brath­waite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, Jeff Daniel­son, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott De­Fife, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Dav­id Di Mar­tino, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Patrick Dor­ton, Pat Du­jakovich, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Jef­frey For­bes, Vin­cent Fril­lici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Mi­chael Gonza­lez, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Larry Griso­lano, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Lisa Grove, Mar­cia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Har­poot­li­an, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hat­t­away, Mike Henry, Kar­en Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Lisa Koun­toupes, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thor­nell, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Rick Wien­er, James Wil­li­ams, JoDee Win­ter­hof, Bri­an Wolff, Jon Young­dahl, and Jim Zo­gby.

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Bri­an Baker, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Paul Ben­necke, Clark Ben­son, Wayne Ber­man, Bri­an Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Carde­n­as, Danny Car­roll, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lom­bardo, Kev­in Mad­den, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bri­an Mc­Cor­mack, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Lisa Cam­ooso Miller, Tim Mor­ris­on, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Todd Olsen, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Tom Reyn­olds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Kev­in Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Terry Sul­li­van, Dav­id Tamasi, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Stew­art Ver­dery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee West­ine, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud.

On balance, what are the chances that Congress will pass an overhaul of the immigration system this year?*

DEMO­CRATS (93 VOTES)

Very likely: 0%
Some­what likely: 7%
Some­what un­likely: 26%
Very un­likely: 67%

Some­what un­likely

“Mes­sage to GOP on im­mig­ra­tion: No guts, no glory!”

“Lost op­por­tun­ity of the Con­gress; only a Hail Mary dur­ing the lame-duck ses­sion gets us to yes this year.”

“Re­pub­lic­ans might get mo­tiv­ated preelec­tion, but most of them are in safe, white dis­tricts. Don’t need those folks’ votes.”

“The fault line runs through the House Re­pub­lic­an caucus, and the odds slightly fa­vor those who want no ac­tion.”

Very un­likely

“The tea-party caucus in the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives rules.”

“Im­mig­ra­tion re­form was on life sup­port, and Can­tor’s de­feat pulled the plug.”

“There seems to be little polit­ic­al im­petus for Re­pub­lic­ans at this point (on any­thing, not just im­mig­ra­tion).”

“House Re­pub­lic­ans won’t save them­selves from los­ing the next four pres­id­en­tial elec­tions.”

“No mat­ter what Boehner et al say, their right wing simply won’t tol­er­ate it. They’ve already writ­ten Lati­nos off for the midterms.”

“Can­tor.”

“It will take polit­ic­al guts for Re­pub­lic­ans to do what’s right — and there­fore it won’t hap­pen.”

“Neither side really wants re­form. The Demo­crats want to blame the Re­pub­lic­ans for not re­form­ing the sys­tem, and the Re­pub­lic­ans want cheap labor without the be­ne­fits of cit­izen­ship.”

“Same is true for 95 per­cent of all the oth­er is­sues fa­cing Con­gress.”

“Care for some tea with that de­port­a­tion pa­per?”

“See [cov­er­age] of the Vir­gin­ia con­gres­sion­al primary.”

On balance, what are the chances that Congress will pass an overhaul of the immigration system this year?*

RE­PUB­LIC­ANS (88 VOTES)

Very likely: 0%
Some­what likely: 10%
Some­what un­likely: 25%
Very un­likely: 65%

Some­what likely

“GOP needs to take it off the table.”

“If Re­pub­lic­ans want to be cred­ible in the pres­id­en­tial race in ‘16, this is an open­ing bid.”

Some­what un­likely

“Con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans are poised to gain seats in Novem­ber, and they aren’t go­ing to risk that by push­ing im­mig­ra­tion re­form.”

“Do we really want to go through a third pres­id­en­tial primary pro­cess risk­ing someone pan­der­ing on this is­sue? If Re­pub­lic­ans can’t get it done be­fore the elec­tion, take care of it dur­ing the lame duck.”

“Too easy to do noth­ing. They’re good at it.”

“No real ap­pet­ite on the Re­pub­lic­an side, and Dems would rather have the polit­ic­al is­sue than a bill.”

“There will be a ma­jor over­re­ac­tion to the Can­tor loss.”

Very un­likely

“This really was not what Eric Can­tor’s loss was about, but con­ven­tion­al wis­dom will hold oth­er­wise.”

“Why change a do-noth­ing strategy when it’s work­ing?”

“Can­tor loss sinks any chance, which was very slim.”

“If Re­pub­lic­ans ever fig­ure out how im­port­ant this is, they will do something, but the Demo­crats will not let them do any­thing.”

“Are there any pro­files in cour­age in the Sen­ate and House? Not in an elec­tion year.”

“Is that a pig I see fly­ing? Nope? Then I’ll say, ‘Very un­likely.’ “

*The ma­jor­ity of re­spond­ents answered this ques­tion be­fore Eric Can­tor’s primary loss.

… … … … .

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Jill Alp­er, John An­za­lone, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Matt Ben­nett, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brath­waite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Guy Cecil, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Co­hen, Jerry Craw­ford, Jeff Daniel­son, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott De­Fife, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Dav­id Di Mar­tino, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Patrick Dor­ton, Pat Du­jakovich, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Jef­frey For­bes, Vin­cent Fril­lici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Mi­chael Gonza­lez, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Larry Griso­lano, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Lisa Grove, Mar­cia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Har­poot­li­an, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hat­t­away, Mike Henry, Kar­en Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Lisa Koun­toupes, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Le­hane, Jeff Link, Bob Malo­ney, Jim Man­ley, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Keith Ma­son, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Steve McMa­hon, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mi­chael Mee­han, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Mi­chael Mon­roe, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, Tony Podesta, Je­frey Pol­lock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Re­iley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ric­chetti, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, Ry­an Rudom­in­er, John Ry­an, Mi­chael Sar­geant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shu­maker, Sean Sin­clair, Phil Sing­er, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thor­nell, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Rick Wien­er, James Wil­li­ams, JoDee Win­ter­hof, Bri­an Wolff, Jon Young­dahl, and Jim Zo­gby.

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Bri­an Baker, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Paul Ben­necke, Clark Ben­son, Wayne Ber­man, Bri­an Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Carde­n­as, Danny Car­roll, Alex Cas­tel­lanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Jonath­an Col­le­gio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Scott Cot­ting­ton, Jay Cran­ford, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Tom Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Debi Durham, Sara Fa­gen, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Ed Ingle, Jim In­no­cenzi, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­Civ­ita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lom­bardo, Kev­in Mad­den, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bri­an Mc­Cor­mack, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Lisa Cam­ooso Miller, Tim Mor­ris­on, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Todd Olsen, Kev­in O’Neill, Con­nie Par­toy­an, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Tom Reyn­olds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Kev­in Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Terry Sul­li­van, Dav­id Tamasi, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Stew­art Ver­dery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee West­ine, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Mat­thew Zablud.

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