"They are in a bit of a box," said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist. "Anyone considering a run has no other option than to take a hard line on immigration or they will get chewed up by conservative activists in Iowa and other primary states. But whoever wins the primary will need to play to a larger audience, and that spells trouble for the Republican base."
"This is a strategy worked out with the caucus designed to do whatever [Mr. Reid] can to protect them, especially those up for election," Mr. Manley said. "The fact of the matter is many of these amendments Republicans wanted to offer were simply designed to score political points."