ASU professor says Naco shooting not likely to amplify border issues this election season

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The fatal shooting of Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie happened on the eve of the first presidential debate of this election season.

So, how will that factor into the national landscape and, what effects will it have on the political front?

While the tragedy weighs heavily on the minds of those of us in Arizona, a political expert tells CBS5 - don't expect it to catapult border issues to the top of campaign concerns.

"You never want to hear that kind of news (murder of a border patrol agent)," said Richard Herrera, an associate professor of political science at ASU's School of Politics and Global Studies. "Especially in a border state, you don't want to hear that news - because we're actually closer to it than maybe lots of the country."

He said while Tuesday's shooting in Naco might affect local races, it's not likely to have much of an impact on this year's presidential election or the dialogue leading up to it.

"At the national level, people aren't directly affected, like they are in a border state," said Herrera. "So, if you look at the border states, those people who live here, they're more directly affected; they see the issue as more important to them and they may even see it as directly affecting the economy."

For that reason, Herrera told CBS5 not to expect border issues, or Tuesday's shooting, to be discussed at length during Wednesday night's debate – if it's mentioned at all.

Instead, he said the focus will be on issues where President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stand far apart.

"The economy is really the issue that dominates all of the discussions," Herrera said. "Healthcare is probably second, because it's tied to the economy. But, immigration is going to be further down the list - even for people who live in border states."

Where you can expect to hear a lot of discussion about Tuesday's shooting, and border concerns in general, is at the Border Governors' Conference.

It begins Thursday in New Mexico and will be attended by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

CBS5 News will be there as well and you can count on continuing coverage.

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