A new report and accompanying video released today by America’s Voice explores how the Republican Party tried to copy Trump’s 2016 electoral success by running on racial incitement and xenophobia in races across the country from 2017 through 2019 — and how that strategy has failed.
From the moment Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential campaign, racist anti-immigrant vitriol has been his main message. The Republican Party has followed in lockstep. Filled with images and examples of the ads and related race outcomes, the report, “For Trump and the GOP, Xenophobia as a Political Strategy Has Backfired,” shows that messages that demonize immigrants, foreigners and so-called “open borders” opponents have been a mainstay of GOP campaign strategy and attack ads in recent years — from Trump to Republican candidates to party committees and super PACs.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
As Trump and Republican candidates across the nation turn, once again, to campaigns anchored in xenophobia, the record in recent years is clear: whatever impact it has in boosting turnout among core supporters, it boosts the backlash vote even more.
Trump’s new immigration stunt is just the latest example of this go-to GOP strategy. That Trump and his operation feel compelled to go full throttle on immigration and xenophobia so early in the campaign suggests how panicked they are.
We can expect this to be one of the ugliest campaigns in American history as Trump and the Republican Party demonize immigrants in their desperate quest to cling to power. Based on the results documented in this report, we can also expect this strategy to fail.