Via Paul Waldman, there’s a new Quinnipiac survey on immigration policy that shows Republican rank-and-file shifting to a position supporting the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants with great force following the president’s recent executive action. And in the last year, GOP support for “involuntary departure” as opposed to a path to citizenship has shifted from a small plurality for the latter to a two-to-one margin for the former.
Waldman observes that this shows how reaction to Obama politics among Republicans goes beyond opposition to something deeper:
[W]hat the Quinnipiac poll suggests — and granted, this is only one poll and we won’t know for sure until we get more evidence — this process also ends up shifting people’s underlying beliefs about the issue.
In other words, Republicans aren’t simply opposed to the sort of temporary “amnesty” Obama’s policies; they’re beginning to rule out anything other than police dogs and cattle cars.
This could, as Waldman suggests, reflect a process whereby partisan polarization leads to ideological radicalization. Or perhaps rank-and-file Republicans are actually figuring out that no position other than “deport ’em all” makes sense once you begin to rule out the other alternatives.