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AL, MS Results Show Immigration Not a Big Issue for Republican Voters; GOP Focus on Immigration is Backfiring
As was true in other conservative states this year, exit polls from the Alabama and Mississippi primaries show that the Republican electorate is not all riled up about the immigration issue. Few Alabama and Missisippi primary voters declared immigration to be their priority issue, while recent polling from Fox News Latino/Latin Insights continues to highlight the problem all leading GOP candidates face with Latino voters, due to their anti-immigrant, anti-Latino stances.
Also, the leading backer of Alabama’s “show me your papers” anti-immigration law was unable to use his notoriety to win in the primary, just like former Arizona state senator Russell Pearce was unable to win in a historic recall election by relying on his anti-immigration bona fides. As Tom Tancredo also proved before them, relying on the illegal immigration wedge issue to carry you to victory is a losing strategy.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said, “Remind me the benefits of the Alabama approach to immigration again? Based on yesterday’s primary results, it clearly doesn’t provide political rewards to its leading backers. Meanwhile, it shreds Alabama’s efforts to move past its intolerant reputation from the civil rights era and has a massive and detrimental impact on the state’s economic bottom line. For national Republican observers, the Alabama example is another reminder that illegal immigration is not a key issue for even the most conservative of voters within the most conservative of states. Instead, the issue only serves as motivating and defining issue for Latino voters across the nation.”
Among the key developments and takeaways from Alabama and Mississippi:
Concluded Sharry, “Those desperate to appeal to the 3% of Republicans mobilized by immigration should clearly follow Kobach’s advice – we’ve seen all the good it has done for Alabama.”
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