An important pro-immigration-reform Republican in the House conceded to the The Washington Post yesterday that House Republicans are not going to act on immigration reform this year, and that the window for pushing immigration reform next year is closing fast.  “We have very few days available on the floor in the House, so I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it this year,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL).

Rep. Diaz-Balart has been highly involved in bipartisan negotiations over immigration for a long time and is thought to be in touch with House GOP leaders on the issue.   He is one of the key Republicans who is negotiating over a piecemeal proposal, but he indicated that, if something was not done early next year — by February or March before Republican primaries heat up — reform is dead for the foreseeable future.  “I’m hopeful that we can get to it early next year,” he said.  “But I am keenly aware that next year, you start running into the election cycle.  If we cannot get it done by early next year, then it’s clearly dead.  It flatlines,” he said.

Meanwhile, a new poll, sponsored by a trio of GOP-friendly groups and released yesterday, could send a warning to politicians nationwide: oppose immigration reform at your peril, according to a report from Politico.  The survey results indicate that voters will be warmer toward politicians who favor immigration reform, even if reform faces an uphill battle in the Republican-led House.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to support a candidate who backs immigration reform compared with 18 percent who said they would be less likely.  On the flip side, 54 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes immigration reform while only 17 percent said they would be more likely.

Organizations that put together the poll include Republicans for Immigration Reform, Partnership for a New American Economy, the pro-reform coalition headed up by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Compete America, a tech industry coalition backing immigration reform.

“Support for immigration reform is broad and especially strong among persuadable independents that Republicans need to win elections,” said Charlie Spies, co-founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform.  “There is no question that Republicans have significantly more risk in opposing immigration reform than they do in supporting it.”

“Elected officials nationwide would be wise to listen to the people they represent,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of Partnership for a New American Economy.  “Otherwise, they can rest assured they’ll be hearing from them on Election Day in 2014 and beyond.”

The automated poll was conducted October 19-20 and surveyed 900 likely voters.  The margin of error is plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.