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August 08, 2014


Will Obama Face Midterm Backlash on Immigration?

Brendan Nyhan wonders why President Obama would risk taking executive action on immigration before the midterm elections.

"Of course, Mr. Obama faces short-term pressures to address the surge in migrant children being detained at the border, but news media reports suggest that the policy changes under consideration would be far broader, potentially providing legal status to many of the nation's undocumented immigrants. Such a broad executive action could provoke a backlash in the midterm elections that might be avoided with a move just a few months later."

"It's easy to overstate the effects of policy on electoral outcomes, but there is a recent worst-case example: the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Research that I conducted with a group of political scientists found that the Republican landslide in 2010 was strengthened by health care reform."














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