Immigration is a complex issue for both parties. Although the public, in general, prefers reform – that is, a path to citizenship with conditions – significant factions within each party have their own agendas and can be highly disruptive. Also, events, such as a in the children on the Mexican border, can create very uneven ground that is hard to maneuver.
Coffman’s challenge is to hold his base while attempting to adjust to the new reality of his more liberal and minority populated district. Romanoff must deal with his past pragmatism. The public seldom lists immigration reform as a top issue, but candidates of both parties are vulnerable if they don’t show concern and reasonable sounding solutions.
As Lee reports:
“(Coffman) realized quickly his positions from his old district are simply just not politically acceptable in his new district. He had to shift his tone and his ideas,” said longtime political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “And a lot of times with voters, they can be swayed if there’s movement in a candidate to work in the best interests of constituents. Will it help him? It certainly seems like it will be a good year for Republicans, and Coffman has Democrats in Washington offering him praise for his legislation.”
Ciruli said Democrats have the upper hand when it comes to Latino voters, who often vote in lockstep with the party.
“Romanoff's message is the same message that every Democrat running for office this year is expressing: ‘Comprehensive immigration reform is a must,’” he said. “It’s a message that resonates with Latinos. The question for Romanoff is: Can he turn out these voters in an election cycle where minorities often do not cast ballots?”See Denver Post:
Past immigration stances problematic for Coffman, Romanoff
Colorado advocates say immigration reform not “a play for amnesty”