This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Unaccompanied Minor Children Claim First Political Victim

The news this evening is that US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has lost his primary bid for re-election. He will not be in the general election in the Fall. He is out. Why? Chuck Todd of MSNBC put it bluntly--the new flood of unaccompanied minor children cost Cantor his seat because Cantor had been trying to figure out a road to immigration reform that included some aspect of the Dream Act.
Brat [David Brat, who has beaten Cantor] who had the funding and backing of the tea party throughout the primary contest, repeatedly hit Cantor on immigration reform.
The seven-term congressman took the attacks seriously, saying that he blocked “amnesty” for illegal immigrants in television ads. But Brat’scriticisms gained traction after reports of thousands of migrant children stranded at the Arizona border made national headlines.
The voter turnout in this primary race was very very low. Remember that after the 2010 census each Congressional District has a total population of about 700,000 people. Even assuming off the top of my head that at least half of these are eligible voters, the results suggest that, at most, the turnout was about 15%. No matter, Cantor lost. And his victor is a professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College near Richmond, Virginia. He will face off in the November general election agains one of his colleagues--Democrat challenger Jack Trammell, a professor of sociology--at Randolph-Macon College. This should be interesting. In the meantime, my comment yesterday that maybe immigration reform would move forward seems badly misplaced.

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