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Whether Arpaio and Kobach Win Primaries Or Not, Trump’s GOP Has Anchored Themselves to a Sinking Ship

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Republican Racism and Xenophobia on the Ballot in November

 In Kansas and Arizona, today’s two primary races offer a glimpse into what’s to come in November. 

In Kansas, the GOP insiders worry that the Senate primary winner will be Kris Kobach, a divisive figure whose inflammatory anti-immigrant stances helped defeat him in his 2018 run for Governor. According to a senior strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “A Kobach candidacy could put Schumer one step closer to becoming the leader” of the Senate. Meanwhile, in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a name so synonymous with vile xenophobia that he has been described as the stylistic doppelgänger” to President Trump, is fighting to get the nomination so he can run to reclaim his old job against Sheriff Paul Penzone, who unseated him in 2016. 

All three of these Republican candidates – Trump, Kobach and Arpaio – share something in common: their hatred for hardworking, tax-paying immigrants.

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

Trump and his mini-mes have come to dominate the GOP and in doing so, have confined the party to a cul-de-sac reserved for white grievance voters. Whatever happens today – and for the record, we hope that Kobach and Arpaio lose – racism and xenophobia will be the main GOP message this fall. 

Will it work? No, it won’t. Trump’s divisiveness, Kobach’s radicalism and Arpaio’s lawlessness may appeal to many Republicans, but they backfire with the majority of Americans. Today’s multiracial, multiethnic America wants to reckon with four centuries of white supremacy and racial injustice, wants to treat immigrants and refugees fairly and humanely, and wants strong leadership to bring us together in the face of once-in-a-century threats.

So, we’ll see if Republican primary voters get just how toxic these candidates will be in the general election and turn them out in today’s primaries. Whatever happens, we look forward to the general election when all voters get to render their verdict on racism and xenophobia.