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NYT: In Schwarzenegger's bid for re-election, immigration may tip vote

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-19-06 11:58 PM
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NYT: In Schwarzenegger's bid for re-election, immigration may tip vote
In California Balancing Act, Immigration May Tip Vote
Published: August 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 Illegal immigration has long been a political minefield in California, making and breaking political careers. Now, with Congress considering the most sweeping changes to immigration laws in two decades, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is learning just how troublesome that terrain can be in an election year.

No Republican candidate for governor or president since the 1970s has won in California without getting at least one-third of the Hispanic vote, which Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, achieved in a wide-open recall election in 2003. In his bid for re-election in November, he faces the difficult task of courting both Latino voters and his core conservative supporters, two groups that are often far apart on immigration....


So one week Mr. Schwarzenegger defends his support for the Minutemen civilian patrols on the border that many conservatives strongly endorse, and the next he distances himself from an anti-illegal-immigrant ballot initiative passed in 1994 that galvanized Latino political involvement on the side of Democrats....(I)n newspaper opinion articles and at campaign stops he has said that he generally supports President Bushs advocacy of more border security, while he also backs measures that would steer some illegal immigrants toward citizenship.

As the governor of California, he reluctantly sent National Guard troops to the border this summer at the request of Mr. Bush, but rejected another request for more troops.

Still, at a speech on Saturday at the state Republican Partys summer convention in Los Angeles, Mr. Schwarzenegger sought to rally the party faithful in part by criticizing his Democratic opponents objection to having the Guard at the border. He also attacked his opponent, Phil Angelides, the state treasurer, for his support for allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses, as a public safety measure....
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