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New America’s Voice Analysis: Immigration and Border Messaging in the 2022 Midterms

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Updated Analysis from America’s Voice Ad Tracking Project Finds 3,200 Different GOP Paid Communications Employing Anti-immigrant Attacks

America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller Available to Discuss Details and Implications

Washington, DC – New analysis from America’s Voice, “Immigration and Border Messaging in the 2022 Midterms,” takes stock of the role of immigration and border issues in the 2022 midterms. The full analysis is available online on the America’s Voice website, but below are a few of the top conclusions before election day:

  1. Right-wing media and Republicans have adopted extremist positions – even adopting the same white nationalist conspiracies as domestic terrorists, over 700 times  – to keep a distorted narrative about the border top of mind for their base voters, but it’s not a top concern for most voters outside the GOP base. 
  2. Republicans invested heavily, spending tens of millions on disingenuous attacks and incendiary language. America’s Voice’s extensive ad tracking identified over 3,200 different pieces of paid communications from Republicans and their allies from this cycle that employed anti-immigrant attacks, including over 600 “open borders” attacks, and over 600 that falsely equate migrants with the illicit drug trade. 
  3. Democrats spent their ad dollars communicating on other issues, but when asked on the campaign trail or on the debate stage, Democrats had a consistent message – a message that stresses the need for both security and reform and support for policies such as DACA and Dreamers.
  4. Despite the economy being the number one issue for most voters, there was very little about the beneficial role of immigrants in the U.S. economy and how much economic disruption is coming when almost three-quarters of a million deeply rooted, long-term immigrants with temporary status – 600K plus Dreamers with DACA and 250K plus TPS holders whose status is set to expire – potentially start to lose status, barring immediate action by Congress this year.

The full analysis online includes:

  • Deep dives on voter public opinion on immigration this cycle and its salience as a top voting issue
  • Analysis of Republican messaging and updated data and statistics demonstrating their relentless nativism in campaigns across the country
  • Democratic messaging and how campaigns have addressed immigration and border issues and
  • A look ahead, including assessing the looming threat to the economy posed by the end of the DACA program and how takeaways from the issue in the midterm cycle should inform the needed legislative solution

According to Zachary Mueller, America’s Voice Political Director:

“While the 2022 midterms will largely be determined by issues other than immigration, immigration and the border were top issues for Republicans’ midterm messaging strategy as the more than 3,200 examples of anti-immigrant attacks demonstrate in detail. 

Republicans’ immigration and border political narrative throughout this cycle is almost entirely devoid of workable solutions and focuses almost exclusively on fear-mongering about immigrants and the border. Meanwhile, Democrats have a consistent, coherent message that speaks to the majority of voters on immigration – they shouldn’t be so shy about expressing it.”