Remember the FAIR anti-immigrant pledge that we wrote about last month, which was so restrictive in its opposition to immigration reform that it insisted that candidates running for office oppose legal as well as undocumented immigration? As Think Progress — with data crunched by the Center for New Community — reports, candidates who have signed the pledge haven’t done very well against their non-signing opponents. In fact, the vast majority of hardline anti-immigrant candidates who have signed have lost to those who haven’t signed (21 races). There have only been two examples of pledge signers who have triumphed in their primary races.
Here are the details from Think Progress (emphasis ours):
Sam Clovis, a Republican Senate candidate from Iowa, signed the FAIR pledge two weeks ago and criticized the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill for offering amnesty, but he lost the primary election Tuesday night to another Republican candidate Joni Ernst who did not sign the pledge. Other FAIR pledge signers who lost to non-signers include Mississippi House candidate Ron Vincent who lost to Steve Palazzo, Montana House candidate Drew Turiano who trailed far behind Ryan Zinke, and Gerard McManus — the only New Jersey House candidate from the 1st District to sign the pledge– who lost to Garry Cobb.
The list of pledge signers who lost to non-signers also extends beyond Tuesday night’s election. Nebraska Senate candidate Shane Osborn signed the pledgeand lost to non-pledge signer Ben Sasse who was criticized as “weak on immigration.” As Imagine 2050 pointed out, North Carolina House candidate Frank Roche signed the FAIR pledge, but lost to incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) who has openly emphasized “her support for some reform measures.” Imagine 2050 also has an interactive graphic that charts the anti-immigrant movement’s targeting of Ellmers, who “took the race by seventeen points.”
Though there are some races, particularly in Georgia, where pledge signers only ran against other pledge signers or where a pledge signer ran unopposed, in races that pitted a signer against a non-signer, supporters of the pledge lost nearly every primary race. In total*, 21 FAIR pledge signers lost to non-signers. Only two pledge signers have won so far in races where they were pitted against a non-signer.
Well, this has got to be embarrassing for Laura Ingraham and FAIR. The record against the FAIR pledge provides proof of something Sen. Chuck Schumer said yesterday — that Steve King and his ilk are like the Wizard of Oz, i.e. more bark than bite. Being the hardest hardliner in town is not helping candidates win support this election cycle, and those who are more moderate can win without succumbing to such pressure. So why, then, do House Republicans keep giving Steve King votes against DREAMers, rather than acting on real immigration reform? The record suggests that they’re chasing away Latino voters, for no good reason.