The automated pollsters at Rasmussen Reports have the results of a curious survey on immigration. They tested voters' preferences for a presidential vote in 2008, and Democrats led 44-32. Then they added a third option: "a third party candidate [who] promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority." This dynamites the two-party race as the Democrats get 31%, the Republicans get 21%, and Anonymous Border Wall Obsessive gets 30%.
This scenario's been inspiring immigration restrictionist fever dreams for a while.
Mickey Kaus is so impressed by the poll that he shuts up about Ron Burkle for five seconds. But Rasmussen's analysis downplays the impact of this number, which is really the only sensible thing to do. (To be fair, Kaus downplays it, too.) Americans have had the chance to vote for a candidate for wanted to build a border wall and make immigration crackdowns his #1 priority. He was a nationally-known figure who'd nearly won the Republican nomination in 1996 before leaving the party. He won $12.6 million in federal campaign funds and used them to run striking campaign ads. He was Pat Buchanan and he got less than half of one percent of the vote.
There are two possibilities. 1) The idea of building a wall along the Mexican border is 60 times more popular than it was in 2000. 2) A significant chunk of the electorate is frustrated by illegal immigration and when an automated pollster calls them and asks them if they would like a border wall, they say yes. There's probably significant overlap between these people and people who, if an automated pollster asked if they would like free ice cream and a pony, would say "yes."