Today is the day that various pundits and reporters have declared “dead” any chance of meaningful immigration reform becoming law this year.
The reason: Most House Republicans represent districts dominated by white conservative constituents. They won’t feel compelled to move on a bill that paves a pathway to citizenship for 11 million unauthorised immigrants when most of their constituents vehemently oppose it.
But a new analysis from the firm Latino Decisions finds that there are a handful of Republicans who could feel compelled to pass some kind of reform.
In all, there are 44 seats held by House Republicans with a large Latino population that could have an effect on their re-election chances in 2014. We’ve plotted them all on this map, by Congressional district:
There are 24 Republicans in “Tier 1” and “Tier 2,” the tiers that are most likely to flip based on Latino Decisions’ analysis. Latino Decisions based their analysis on where the 2010 Latino voting age population either exceeds or approaches the 2012 margin of victory, as well as seats won by the opposition party’s presidential candidate. “Tier 3” Republicans are safer, and usually won their districts by double digits in 2012.
The different “tiers” are determined by a combination of the incumbent’s margin of victory in 2012 and the district’s Latino population. If the Republican incumbent were ousted in the 24 “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” districts, that would be enough to swing the balance of the House of Representatives in the 2014 election.
There are signs that Republicans could face significant backlash if immigration reform is tabled this year. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, voters in seven toss-up Republican-held districts would be much less likely to vote for their representative if the House fails to pass some kind of immigration reform bill.
There’s an important caveat to this analysis: It’s not likely that even all 44 of these House members pushing Republican leadership would change the will of the House overall. House Speaker John Boehner has said that he won’t move a bill without the support of a majority of Republicans.
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