According to The Washington Times, if the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate this summer also makes it through the House of Representatives, the U.S. could see an influx of 17 million potential voters over the next 25 years. These voters would be new immigrants getting their citizenship, which allows them to vote.
Not everyone eligible to vote ends up going to the polls, but with a potential increase of 17 million new immigrant voters, elections are sure to be different than in the past. The Times also notes that there are already expected to be 15 million voters added to the rolls by 2036 as more immigrants earn their citizenship. The last four presidential elections were decided by 4.5 million voters. As it only took 4.5 million voters to decide, an additional 17 million could sway election outcomes, especially if these voters were in unison.
Republican party loses favor
According to Politico, the Republican Party has realized that passing the immigration reform bill,which was agreed upon in the Senate but is stuck in the House, will change the face of the 2014 election season. Current voters already support immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Those polled believed that the GOP would do well to reach out to Latino and immigrant communities, as they could soon become a voting force.
The GOP could really use the boost, with polls showing that Americans blame Republicans for the government shutdown, according to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. The public was pretty divided, but the Republican Party took most of the blame for the government shutdown, with 39 percent of respondents placing responsibility at the party’s doorstep. President Obama received 36 percent of the responsibility for the shutdown, and 17 percent of those polled thought the blame was shared.