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Insiders: Immigration Reform Likely to Pass Congress

January 31, 2013

What is the likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, passing Congress this year?


Very likely: 39%
Somewhat likely: 50%
Somewhat unlikely: 8%
Very unlikely: 3%

Very likely


“GOP has gone from bigotry to opportunism faster than Sarah Palin can take down a caribou.”

“To quote John McCain: ‘Look at the election.’ ”

“The GOP has backed itself into a corner, and citizenship is the only way out.”

“Si se puede.”

“There’s pressure on both parties to do a deal. Gratitude for the Dems, fear for the GOP.”

Somewhat likely

“Bipartisan legislation flows from political self-interest.”

“Both parties have incentives to support it, and it likely will pass the Senate. The House is another matter.”

“Bipartisan cover is a good thing these days.”

“Republicans who run statewide or those with an eye toward regaining the White House know they need to renegotiate their relationship with the Hispanic communities. Unfortunately, those who run in safe House seats—and tend to represent the wackiest wing of the GOP—are in no rush.”

“Dems want to and Republicans have to, but it’s still Washington.”

“Congressional ‘gangs’ almost never produce things that pass, but with the leaders involved, this time might be different.”

Somewhat unlikely

“Hard to see a path to citizenship getting a majority of the majority in the House.”

Very unlikely

“It is like cybersecurity, climate change, and tax reform. Very important. Very political. Very hard.”


What is the likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, passing Congress this year?


Very likely: 25%
Somewhat likely: 53%
Somewhat unlikely: 20%
Very unlikely: 2%

Very likely

“The time has come. The votes are there.”

“Republicans get over their headache, after banging into the wall for years.”

“[Sen. Marco] Rubio is to immigration policy as Nixon is to China.”

“Republicans cannot afford to block this again and remain a relevant party.”

Somewhat likely

“Do the Dems want the issue or want a solution? Does the GOP really want to refight this issue at the polls every two years?”

“The odds have improved, but I don’t think enough has changed in the politics of this issue to give it good odds. Radio talk is not going to change its tune, nor is labor.”

“Enough Republicans want to stop the bleeding that it will pass, unless D’s decide they’ll keep moving the goalposts on eligibility to avoid a reasonable compromise.”

“Both parties know their livelihood depends on it.”

“At least a few rational people in the GOP recognize that the Republican Party has to get a more reasonable position on immigration.”

Somewhat unlikely

“Hard to see how an amnesty bill makes it through the House.”

“Something will pass—and it may include something like a path to citizenship—but it will not be comprehensive.”

Very unlikely

“The need is real; the commitment is, unfortunately, happy talk.”


Which one of the following would you say is the area in which the Republican Party needs the most improvement?


Message: 21%
Charismatic leaders: 1%
Policy prescriptions: 57%
Better campaign technology: 2%
Other: 20%


“They are perceived as being beholden to 1 percent of the population.”

“They are waaaaay out of touch with young voters and people of color.”

“ ‘We hate Obama’ is not a message.”

Charismatic leaders

“The bench of governors should help, given the numbers.”

Policy prescriptions

“You can’t tweet/Facebook your way out of transvaginal ultrasounds. #govtoutofmybedroom.”

“Too many of the GOP policy prescriptions only benefit the rich and large corporations. They need a real middle-class agenda and commitment to diversity in the party.”

“The voice of tea partiers and social conservatives is killing any innovative, free-market ideas from getting traction. They need more than Jack Kemp’s energy—they need Jack Kemp’s ideas!”

“The Republican policies alienate minorities, young people, and legal immigrants. If the policies don’t change, the election results won’t change.”

“They have to become less rigid and dogmatic. Whether this country is center-left or center-right, the first word is always center.”

“It is NOT a messaging issue; it is a policy issue. They increasingly fight for and care about matters that are important to a shrinking angry white male minority of the population.”


“Sanity. Respect for facts.”

“Fewer nuts. Their free-market message would give them traction if they would stop stepping on it.”


Which one of the following would you say is the area in which the Republican Party needs the most improvement?


Message: 33%
Charismatic leaders: 23%
Policy prescriptions: 21%
Better campaign technology: 6%
Other: 17%


“Gotta appeal to more than the base, fellas. Centrist voters still worry about affordable health insurance, the quality of their kid’s school, whether their home will eventually prove a good investment. Can’t be indifferent to their concerns.”

“A positive message that is relevant today, not 20 years ago.”

“Need to start talking about who we are rather than who we are not.”

“Paul Ryan and others are figuring out we cannot be the party of ‘no.’ ”

Charismatic leaders

“A charismatic leader figures out the messaging; it’s second nature.”

“Obama leaves most details to others, but HE rules as the unifying leader—quite a lesson.”

Policy prescriptions

“The party needs to start solving problems people care about—like education, health care, and infrastructure—and not only be the party of tax and spending cuts.”

“It’s the ideas, stupid.”

Better campaign technology

“[The Republican National Committee], which led in technology for many years, has fallen woefully behind.”


“Newly impartial media. As long as the major media operates as an unapologetic organ of the Democratic Party, the GOP will be the minority party.”


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, Brendan Daly, 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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