U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio hit the Sunday talk shows to discuss an immigration reform plan that he said would not provide amnesty. In Texas, a strong majority of Texans oppose a comprehensive overhaul, with the "pathway to citizenship" a likely stumbling block.
Many Republican officials are moderating their views on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants already in the U.S. Their voters, however, remain opposed to the idea. And Tea Party voters are strongly opposed.
If Ted Cruz seems to be marching out of step with GOP leaders attempting to lower the volume on the party’s immigration rhetoric, results from the last UT/Texas Tribune poll suggest the drumbeat he's listening to is the one being played by his voters.
A proposed federal immigration reform poses a test for Texas Republicans: Their leaders, compared to politicians from other states, tend to be more moderate. But those leaders stand at the front of a GOP that is hostile to some of the proposal's key points.
The governor's political radar is characteristically fine-tuned here, at least for the short term.