The defeat of the immigration bill will boost the chances of a Democratic victory in 2008, giving Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDems flip New York state seat that Republicans have held for nearly four decades Dems win majority in New York Senate, but won't control it Chelsea Clinton hits back at NYT reporter over details in new book MORE, 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 10 points of Kerry among Hispanics, having lost them by 30 points to Gore four years before. But in 2006, Latinos voted Democratic 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.