Elections in America

 GOP’s Full-Throated Nativism 

Fails to Resonate Beyond 

the MAGA Base

    Washington, DC – (America's Voice) - Nov. 13, 2022 - An array of voices are highlighting one takeaway from the 2022 midterms – once again, most voters rejected Republicans’ relentless anti-immigrant attacks and larger extremism. As in past recent cycles, the GOP fear-mongering and nativism failed to resonate beyond the MAGA base as Americans voted against leading peddlers of ugly nativism and expressed renewed support for common sense solutions at odds with Republicans’ ugliness. Among the voices and examples:

  • Greg Sargent of Washington Post: GOP assumptions on border and immigration again “proved wrong”: As part of his larger analysis titled, “5 big GOP narratives just went down in flames,” Greg Sargent of the Washington Post notes, “Invasion language did little for Republicans,” writing that “Republicans have long enjoyed a presumption of a major advantage on this issue, but aside from Trump’s 2016 victory, it keeps failing to deliver … GOP confidence that President Biden’s ‘disastrous open border’ would spark major electoral repudiation, giving Republicans space to hyper-radicalize their base around the issue, has proved wrong.”
  • Paul Waldman of Washington Post: “Arizona Democrats chalk up their big night to GOP focus on immigration.” Waldman writes: “Though Republicans wouldn’t use those terms, immigration was clearly the beginning and end of their strategy in Arizona this year. If you went to any GOP campaign event in Arizona lately, you would have heard a litany of horrors about the border as candidates Kari Lake and Blake Masters painted a nightmarish picture of murder and mayhem pouring into American communities, courtesy of a quasi-conspiracy involving the Chinese Communist Party, Mexican drug cartels and President Biden himself seeking to flood the country with fentanyl and criminal aliens … In Arizona as elsewhere, through victory and defeat, Republicans’ faith in the electoral power of the immigration issue has been unwavering. And all indications are that whatever else happens between now and 2024, that isn’t going to change.”
  • “Hatemongering isn’t a sustainable political strategy.” Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero, who wrote a biography of leading nativist Stephen Miller, responded to Miller’s attempted spin that Republicans didn’t make anti-immigration attacks enough of their focus by noting: “Except this is literally all the GOP ran on. Hatemongering isn’t a sustainable political strategy.”
  • “While votes are still being counted, it’s clear Stephen Miller’s racist political ads were a flop” from Gabe Ortiz at Daily Kos: Ortiz writes, “Miller had been assuring his racist base that a “red wave” was in store for Republicans, doing his part by launching massively offensive ads in more than a dozen states that sobbed about supposed “anti-white bigotry” and pushed violent anti-immigrant imagery … But this week, voters largely rejected this bigoted agenda … ‘Stephen Miller predicted that Republicans’ nativism would help usher in a ‘red tsunami,’ but his tens of millions of dollars’ worth of overt racism and nativism fell flat in 2022—just as his similar election predictions about the power of GOP nativism failed in past cycles,’ said Vanessa Cárdenas, executive director of immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice. ‘The strategy of trying to mobilize the MAGA base around extreme Trumpian grievances and anti-immigrant fear-mongering fell flat.’”

    Indeed, as America’s Voice tracked, the Stephen Miller-affiliated “Citizens for Sanity” spent over $51 million in TV ads across 16 states in the midterms’ homestretch with some of the year’s most vile nativist, racist and transphobic ads (as seen during World Series) – just part of the GOP’s relentless focus on nativism and 3,200 different paid communications on anti-immigrant themes highlighted by the America’s Voice’s ad tracking project.

    Following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director for America’s Voice:

    “Nativism has become the beating heart of the Republican Party and the throughline from Trump’s descent down the escalator in 2015 to MAGA extremists taking control of the GOP to the current perilous moment facing our democracy. And once again, the political potency of GOP full-throated nativism failed to resonate beyond the Republican base and may have been part of a larger backlash among many voters against MAGA candidates.

    "One clear takeaway from this election is that the GOP’s massive investment in nativist attacks failed to deliver, which is an especially striking fact given an election environment that overwhelmingly favored Republicans and that the issue was a top message priority GOP-wide. The vast majority of Americans reject the GOP’s radicalism and scare tactics on immigration and recognize that immigrants are a source of strength for the nation. Now, we need policies that meet the vast majority of the country where it actually is – in favor of common sense solutions that address the uncertain futures of Dreamers, TPS holders, and farm workers and in support of bipartisan reforms that will modernize and actually address immigration reform in a real way.”

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