The defeat of the immigration bill will boost the chances of a Democratic victory in 2008, giving Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic candidate, a strong advantage. Hispanic voters will undoubtedly blame the Republicans for the failure of the bill. In 2004, Bush made progress among Latino voters, coming within ten points of Kerry among Hispanics, having lost them by 30 points to Gore four years before. But in 2006, Latinos voted Democrat by more than 40 points according to exit polls because of their anger at the harsh Republican immigration proposals. Now that the Republicans have defeated the immigration bill, they will very likely pay a steep price at the polls in 2008.
The price is likely to be compounded by the probability that a Democratic Congress and president after the 08 election will pass some form of immigration reform, probably a bill even more to the liking of the Hispanic community than the Bush proposal Congress just defeated.