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Family Separation Crisis Takes Toll on GOP in Battleground Districts

 

The GOP Can’t Disown Its Own Vile and Divisive Anti-Immigrant Strategy

New political analysis from Julie Pace of the Associated Press titled, “High Stakes as 2-month Sprint to Election Day Begins,” references internal Republican poll results finding that the cruel family separation policy has hurt Trump and the Republicans’ standing among moderates and independents in congressional battlegrounds:

Trump’s turbulent summer appears to have put many moderates and independents out of reach for Republican candidates, according to GOP officials. One internal GOP poll obtained by The Associated Press showed Trump’s approval rating among independents in congressional battleground districts dropped 10 points between June and August.

A GOP official who oversaw the survey attributed the drop to negative views of Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the White House’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The official was not authorized to discuss the internal polling publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

…Corry Bliss, who runs a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, acknowledged a ‘tough environment’ for Republicans that could quickly become too difficult for some incumbents to overcome. ‘Incumbents who wake up down in the beginning of October are not going to be able to fix it in this environment,’ Bliss said. ‘But incumbents who go on the offense early can and will win.’

Yet the Republican strategy for going “on offense,” as recommended by Bliss, mirrors the very immigration ugliness embodied by the unresolved family separation crisis. In many of these same congressional battleground districts, the Republican focus and ad spending is all about the “divide and distract” strategy, backed by millions of dollars in ad spending tied to Bliss’s super PAC and others aligned with Republican leadership.

While the ugly “divide and distract” strategy has Stephen Miller’s fingerprints all over it and is being deployed by Trump acolytes such as Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, the whole Republican Party has embraced it, including GOP leadership.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Independents and moderates have rightly been horrified by the unresolved family separation crisis and the fact that our government ripped children from their parents arms when there are proven, common sense and humane alternatives. Yet the response from the rest of the Republican Party has been to double down on the immigration ugliness embraced by this President, Stephen Miller, and other nativist hard liners. The GOP, from Trump to Paul Ryan on down, owns the ugly anti-immigrant bed they have made and will pay the consequences. Across the country and across the Party, the GOP midterm strategy is to race-bait and scapegoat over immigration at every opportunity, trying to make the midterms a referendum on “us vs. them” politics in a desperate attempt to keep the focus off the terrible Republican record on kitchen table issues. It’s a deeply cynical and ugly approach that flies in the face of Americans’ growing desire for racial unity and government action to move us forward together.