Vulnerable Dems risk defeat with yes votes on immigration bill

Four Democratic senators facing tough reelection fights voted in favor of the immigration reform measure on Thursday afternoon, opening themselves up to likely attacks from conservatives heading into 2014 and beyond.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.), a top GOP target in 2014, voted to advance the bill along with vulnerable Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (D-Alaska), Kay HaganKay HaganPhoto finish predicted for Trump, Clinton in North Carolina Are Senate Republicans facing an election wipeout? Clinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race MORE (D-N.C.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuLouisiana needs Caroline Fayard as its new senator La. Senate contender books seven-figure ad buy Crowded field muddies polling in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.)  

Sen. Al FrankenAl FrankenOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Regulation: Supporters push for TV box reforms ahead of vote Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo MORE (D-Minn.), who is also up for reelection but considered less vulnerable, also voted for the bill. No Democrats voted against the legislation. 

A handful of Republicans in blue and swing states — some of who could see primary challenges — voted for passage.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown White House, business disappointed over lack of Ex-Im provision in spending bill Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq MORE (S.C.), up for reelection in 2014, voted for the bill. 

He has long faced criticism from conservatives for his record, though no primary challenger has yet emerged, and he's long been an outspoken supporter of reform. 

Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteSenate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown Ryan optimistic about GOP majorities in House and Senate Dems gain upper hand on budget MORE (N.H.), Marco RubioMarco RubioLanny Davis: Clinton a clear winner, with or without sound Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? Koch-linked veterans group launches ads in Senate battlegrounds MORE (Fla.) aren't up for reelection until 2016, but their support for the reform measure is already causing consternation among conservatives.

Most notably, Tea Party leader Sarah Palin suggested the two should face primary challenges. 

And Rubio, who is seen as a probable 2016 contender, has seen his poll numbers drop in the past month, as debate over the bill intensified. 

Critics say his role in crafting and selling the measure to the public could hurt him with Republican primary voters and jeopardize his presidential aspirations.

Also up for reelection in 2016 is Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkFormer Miss Universe becomes surprise story to emerge from debate Senate rivals gear up for debates The Trail 2016: Trump seizes on Charlotte violence MORE (R-Ill.), whose vote for the bill could help him appeal to centrist voters in his blue state. 

Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerFunding bill rejected as shutdown nears Senate lays groundwork for spending deal GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Nev.), up in 2018 in a swing state, will also need to appeal to that voting bloc.

GOP debate over the bill has highlighted a split within the party on reform. Conservatives generally oppose what they say is a temporary stop-gap measure that does little to solve the problem and offers inadequate border security provisions. 

The no-votes from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry MoranJerry MoranSenate panel advances ticket bots crackdown Overnight Tech: GOP says internet fight isn't over | EU chief defends Apple tax ruling | Feds roll out self-driving car guidelines | Netflix's China worries GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (Kans.) and his NRSC deputies, Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanGrassley accuses Reid of 'pure unfiltered partisanship' Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown Ryan optimistic about GOP majorities in House and Senate MORE (Ohio) and Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE (Texas), underscore what a politically perilous issue immigration may be for some Republicans going forward.

In the House, a large contingent of far-right members have pledged to oppose the Senate measure.