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Click here to listen to Simon on NPR. While Simon points out that the G.O.P's approach to immigration backfired, he notes that with a Democratic congress, passing comprehensive immigration reform could be easy and could improve the President's legacy.

Exit: stage right

Colbert's "video love letter" pays tribute to the outgoing Republican majority.

What a difference a day makes

As we continue to read about what led to last night's results, we constantly hear explanations framed around Iraq, the economy, and the need for change. Yet we can't forget to include, as Simon notes, one of the great examples of how the GOP lost its way: immigration reform.

In today's press conference, President Bush said that he thinks Congress has a better chance of passing comprehensive immigration reform, which he supports, with a Democratic Congress:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. On immigration, many Democrats had more positive things to say about your comprehensive proposal than many Republicans did. Do you think a Democratic Congress gives you a better shot at comprehensive immigration reform?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I should have brought this up. I do. I think we have a good chance. Thank you. It's an important issue and I hope we can get something done on it. I meant to put that in my list of things that we need to get done.

As the Weekly Standard pointed out, "If Republicans don't grab this issue, Democrats will." Judging by his comments today, the President seems to acknowledge that the Republicans had an unrealistic, malicious view of the issue and dropped the ball. It's up to the Democrats to pick it up and deliver our plan for comprehensive reform for America.

(FYI, Latinos voted with the Democrats 69-30% according to these exit polls from CNN)

The President also noted that he sees minimum wage, another issue NDN has been involved with, as another issue he can find common ground on:

Q Mr. President, I'd like to ask you, Nancy Pelosi has been quite clear about her agenda for the first 100 hours. She mentions things like raising minimum wage, cutting interest rates on student loans, broadening stem cell research, and rolling back tax cuts. Which of those can you support, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I knew you'd probably try to get me to start negotiating with myself. I haven't even visited with Congresswoman Pelosi yet. She's coming to the Oval Office later this week; I'm going to sit down and talk with her. I believe on a lot of issues we can find common ground. And there's a significant difference between common ground and abandoning principle. She's not going to abandon her principles and I'm not going to abandon mine. But I do believe we have an opportunity to find some common ground to move forward on.

In that very same interview you quoted, one of these three characters asked me about minimum wage. I said, there's an area where I believe we can make some -- find common ground. And as we do, I'll be, of course, making sure that our small businesses are -- there's compensation for the small businesses in the bill.

Minimum wage results

Just a quick update: voters approved minimum-wage increases in Arizona ($6.75), Missouri ($6.50), Montana ($6.15), Nevada ($6.15 an hour if employers don't provide health benefits), Ohio ($6.85), AND Colorado ($6.85).

As many of you know, NDN's minimum wage media campaign ran in AZ and CO, so these results are good news for us.

NCLR poll finds Immigration driving voters to the polls

Here's the press realease from NCLR. It mentions immigration2006, which NDN is greatly involved with:


Washington, DC – Half of Latino voters say they are "more enthusiastic" about voting this year than in previous elections, according to a new poll released today by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Seventy-five percent rated their interest in the election between 8 and 10, compared to 56% in a survey conducted in late September. The survey of 1,050 registered and likely voters, which has a margin of error of + or - 3.2%, was conducted by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies November 2-6.

"From all indications, Latinos are clearly fired up about the 2006 election. And this poll bears out what previous elections have demonstrated - that while immigration is not the Latino community's greatest concern, the issue continues to be its greatest motivator," noted Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

The survey found that education, the economy and jobs, and the war in Iraq continue to be the top concerns for Latinos, in that order. Yet, while only 9% ranked immigration as their top concern, a majority of Latinos (51%), including half of young voters, reported that immigration was the most important or one of the most important issues in deciding their vote.

"This poll shows that attempts to use immigration as a wedge issue in this election will backfire. All of the evidence suggests that candidates' positions on immigration will not make a difference with the vast majority of mainstream voters (see, for example, www.immigration2006.org), but will have a profound influence on whom Latinos will vote for today," stated Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund.

Among its findings, the survey notes the key role that Spanish-language media and nonpartisan voter mobilization efforts are playing in Get Out the Vote efforts. About half of Latino voters overall and nearly half of young Latino voters 18-24 years old have heard ads or programs on radio or television urging them to vote or to get involved politically. Most Latinos also report being contacted about voting and the election, but only about one-third recalled being contacted by either political party. "Clearly, the work of our community and dozens of other organizations is being felt at the grassroots level," said Vargas.

The survey results also suggest strong linkages between likely voters and participants in the marches and rallies last spring in support of immigration reform, especially among young Latino voters. Nearly a third (29%) of voters overall and nearly half (45%) of young voters said that they, a family member, or close friend participated in the marches.

"This extraordinary level of participation confirms that interest in the rallies and marches spread far beyond the immigrant community. That, coupled with the survey's findings of strong and growing interest among Latinos in the election, should come as a warning to those elected officials who believe that immigrant bashing is a strategy without consequence," said Murguía, adding, "Not only has that strategy been rebuffed by the broader American electorate, but Latinos are taking notice of politicians willing to malign their community just to get elected."

NCLR's data is consistent with both the poll the NDN Political Fund released in July and NDN's immigration argument.


What about exit polls?

For all of you searching the internet for exit polls, you're probably wondering where all the data is. Rest assured - not even Drudge has it. The LA Times has a very interesting piece on how networks are approaching exit polling this time around.

Only Obama trails Clinton on '08 list

According to a new CNN poll, Sen. Barack Obama trails only Sen. Hillary Clinton on the list of potential Democratic candidates in 2008. The not-so-surprising results show Sen. Obama, who received 17 percent from registered Democrats, trailing Sen. Clinton, who received 28 percent (down from 38 percent in September).

The poll showed former Vice President Al Gore, former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (in that order) following the pack of first-tier candidates. Rounding out the rest were Sen. Evan Bayh, Sen. Joseph Biden, Sen. Russ Feingold, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack who are all in the low single digits.

This shouldn't come as much of a shock. Given the intense media coverage around his book tour (the Time magazine cover story, his Oprah appearance, etc.), Sen. Obama has been everywhere. A role he seems to have adjusted to quite well, he continues to challenge statements most politicos previously considered fact. Only time will tell whether he will find as much success with the challenge these results present: Sen. Clinton.

(For an interesting read on how the GOP might enjoy an Obama run, check this article out.) 

Don't forget the Youth vote

Harvard's Institute of Politics (IOP) is releasing a new poll today that hints at record Youth (18-24 year olds) turnout in next week's election. As of now, only the press release is available; but the results show great promise for Democrats, noting:

...young people continue to disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President, with the President averaging a grade of “C-”on seven key issues facing America, with the lowest mark coming on his handling of the War in Iraq (D+). Finally, 18-24 year olds seem to favor a swapping of majority parties in Congress, as a majority of likely voters (52%) said they favor a Congress controlled by Democrats following the November elections.

And, while it also hints that the Youth are not happy with the current climate in Washington, the study shows that "young adults still have hope for politics."

Thankfully, the New Politics Institute continues to urge us all to understand this Millennial generation, and how new mediums can be used to speak to it.


El periodico el New York Times dice que el muro fronterizo es una mala idea

NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center sends regular updates to Spanish language media outlets about the issues and campaigns that impact their communities. The releases are reprinted in their entirety on our blog for our Spanish speaking readers, and you can read the latest below.

El Centro de Estrategia Hispana del NDN les envía este editorial del New York Times sobre el muro fronterizo. El editorial dice que el muro reemplazó cualquier estrategia integral que tenía el Partido Republicano para resolver el problema de inmigración. Dice que desafortunadamente, el Partido Republicano se dejó manipular por la histeria y el miedo que tenían varios en su partido en defender una política sana, justa, integral y verdadera, lo cual hubiese sido el proyecto de ley de los senadores McCain y Kennedy. En vez, el Partido Republicano y ahora el Presidente Bush han confirmado que solo desean arreglar sus problemas políticos internos acudiendo a lo peor de la política humana - el miedo y el deseo de culpar a un grupo en particular - los inmigrantes - por todos los males que sufre nuestro país.

NDN Globalization Director promotes new direction to fix broken Bush economy

Be sure to read this e-mail that Simon just sent out... 


Earlier today NDN's Globalization Initiative Director Dr. Robert J. Shapiro joined Paul Krugman and an array of leading economists, commentators and journalists at a major conference organized by the New America Foundation in Washington DC to discuss the worsening economic situation, and what can be done to make the American economy work for all Americans once again. The conference marked the launch of a new and exciting economic program at New America.

Last week’s GDP figures were the worst since 2003. And as Krugman himself outlines in his New York Times column today, much of this is due to the fast decline in the housing market. But because the economic situation for most Americans is getting worse, there are other factors at play too. As Rob says in his speech today:

By historical standards, overall growth since 2002 has been generally strong, and productivity gains have been extraordinarily strong.  Yet the conditions for most Americans more closely resemble a downturn than a healthy expansion.... It’s hard to overstate the importance of these changes.

Anyone interested in what is happen to our economy, why Bush gets no credit for the overall economic expansion, and what we must do to create an economy that works for all Americans.

You can read Rob’s remarks in full here.

In the speech Rob lays out a vision in which progressives understand the huge changes underway in the global economy, including the rise of China, and respond here at home:

If we want to restore the historical connections between growth and jobs and between productivity and wages -- knowing that we cannot reduce the intensity of global competition, nor that we should try to – we have to ease some of the cost pressures on U.S. businesses.To spur stronger job creation and wage gains, it’s time to swallow hard and put in place new national programs that can slow the rising costs of health care, pensions and energy for U.S. businesses and all Americans.

Rob Shapiro is one of the smartest guys I’ve met in DC. He has been at the forefront of the debate over declining wages that has made a real impact in these elections. And I’m proud that Rob continues to step up and lead the progressive debate over the economy here at NDN.


Also check out these relevant links:

NDN Globalization Initiative
Rob Shapiro's remarks
Read Paul Krugman's remarks
"GDP growth weakest in over 3 years"
"The Emerging Progressive Consensus on Wages"
Read "Challenging the Republican Economic Record"

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