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Pawlenty Wins Minor Battle in Fight Against Illegal Immigration

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The DFL dropped provisions from a higher education bill—passed by the House and Senate—that would have allowed children of illegal immigrants in Minnesota to qualify for in-state tuition.

The inclusion of the so-called "DREAM Act" would assuredly have been met with a veto from Governor Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty had expressed his opposition to the DREAM Act on several occasions, frequently threatening to veto the entire bill if it included such a provision.

Pawlenty—considered a moderate Republican by most political observers—has taken a fairly hard line on issues dealing with illegal immigration during the past year. In July 2006, the Governor demonstrated his support for more enforcement of the US-Mexican border by pledging up to 200 Minnesota National Guard troops to be sent to the border under the border protection program outlined by President Bush.

In late September 2006, Pawlenty stated his support for photo-ID requirements at polling booths to prevent illegal immigrants from voting. The Governor also directed the Department of Public Safety to search the state voter registration database for names on a list of noncitizens' driver's licenses or other state ID cards.

Although Pawlenty is characterized above as taking a 'hard line' stance on illegal immigration, the Governor's views on this issue are actually in step with a majority of his constituents, as well as the country as a whole. Minnesotans—like residents of most states—are overwhelming in favor of most measures that aim to reduce illegal immigration to this country.

For example, a January 2006 Rasmussen poll found 59 percent of Gopher State residents supported the building of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border, with only 26 percent in opposition. That survey also found likely voters tended to agree with Pawlenty's views on immigration at nearly a 2:1 clip over those who disagreed with him (although a substantial number of Minnesotans (40 percent) were not sure or were not aware of Pawlenty's views).

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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