Vanessa Cárdenas: “MAGA extremism may resonate among GOP base voters, but alienates the broader electorate in the process”
Washington, DC – Across the country and in Congress, Republicans continue to define themselves by harmful and unpopular MAGA extremism, including via anti-immigration measures. This despite the continued evidence of general electorate rejection of MAGA extremism on display (see the national backlash to the racist expulsion of Tennessee lawmakers, the resounding Democratic victory in the Wisconsin bellwether judicial election and the new ABC/Ipsos poll finding that Donald Trump’s favorability rating stands at just 25%).
As Dan Balz phrases it in the Washington Post,
“The damage inflicted by past and present actions continues to define a new Republican Party, one that has been consolidating power in many red states but vulnerable elsewhere — especially in states that could decide the next presidential election … Part of the Republican Party became radicalized under Trump and is vulnerable to what Biden and the Democrats have branded as the extreme MAGA Republicans.”
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The resounding results in the Wisconsin judicial election are the latest reminder that MAGA extremism may resonate among GOP base voters, but alienates the broader electorate in the process. While abortion was certainly the lead driver in last week’s election, any recounting of the MAGA extremist agenda and what’s at stake must include the Republicans’ relentless anti-immigrant agenda, often expressed with white nationalist rhetoric in Congress and across the country.
Witness Florida, where Gov. DeSantis is trying to reset his wobbly GOP primary campaign by muscling through extreme anti-immigrant legislation – despite the clear potential harm to his state. The anti-immigrant agenda DeSantis and other Republicans are adopting to attract MAGA attention could prove to be a liability when facing a national electorate that is increasingly rejecting extremist positions, whether on immigrants, guns, abortion or other unpopular GOP approaches.”
In Florida, the Governor DeSantis attempt to ram through a grab bag of anti-immigrant measures is generating pushback and increasing attention:
- In the New York Times, reporter Miriam Jordan explores the sweeping nature and harmful implications of the DeSantis anti-immigration push. As Mike Fernandez, a private equity businessman and member of the American Business Immigration Coalition states in the story: “What might make DeSantis look good with the extreme right in a national presidential election bid is just about the most destructive and hurtful thing he could do to his own state.”
- Also read Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago on the DeSantis nativist push and implications. She writes: “Before the abhorrent ‘Florida blueprint’ DeSantis is peddling nationwide — autocracy, anti-gay, anti-Black and anti-women’s rights, anti-immigrant measures — [in Miami] we were heralded as America’s model city of the future. Now, GOP state lawmakers stand in solidarity with inconceivable intrusion in our communities by a governor with runaway ambition. Simply put, both versions of the same proposal, House Bill 1617 and Senate Bill 1718, are a slap to the face of our immigrant families — and native-born Americans who have welcomed immigrants into their lives, whether through friendship or marriage.”
“Fresh off a 2022 election cycle in which the GOP’s embrace of MAGA extremism and white nationalism contributed to electoral losses and underperformance – after the past cycles of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 delivered similar takeaways – a different party would have responded by renewed appeals to the general electorate. Instead, Republicans are doubling down in a dangerous direction, proposing new laws to round up or target immigrant families, take military action against Mexico and make feeding, living with and ministering to undocumented immigrants a crime.”