Republican candidates and outdoors teams concerned in powerful races, significantly in deep-red states and districts the place turning out the conservative base is all that issues, are airing tv commercials stoking fears and spreading misinformation in regards to the group of migrants nonetheless 900 miles from the Southern border.
It is the GOP’s closing argument in Tennessee, the place Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who faces Democratic former governor Phil Bredesen in a aggressive Senate race, has aired adverts that point out the “caravan” almost 800 instances, in keeping with an evaluation by Kantar/CMAG, which tracks political adverts.
The migrants, touring as a bunch for security, have left their dwelling international locations and are heading to the US. Trump and his allies have tried to stoke fears in regards to the group and tie them to Democrats forward of the midterm elections. There have been no experiences, within the press or publicly from intelligence companies, to counsel there are folks from the Center East embedded within the caravan.
The adverts mimic a method Trump set into movement weeks in the past. Ignoring some Republicans’ pleas to place a booming economic system on the forefront within the midterms, the President has launched an all-out tradition struggle depicting immigrants, significantly Latinos, as a menace to the nation. He stated Wednesday he may ship 15,000 troops — 3 times the quantity at present combating ISIS in Iraq — to fulfill the group of migrants. He has hyped it as an imminent menace, regardless that the group is shrinking in numbers and nonetheless weeks from the border.
On Wednesday night time, Trump escalated his race-fueled marketing campaign additional, posting on Twitter a video produced by the Republican consulting agency Jamestown Associates that depicts Democrats as plotting to assist folks they depict as Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers.
The online advert options Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican man who had beforehand been deported however returned to the US and was convicted in February within the killing of two California deputies.
“I will kill extra cops quickly,” Bracamontes is proven saying in court docket as captions flash throughout the display studying, “Democrats let him into our nation. Democrats let him keep.”
The online advert recalled the 1988 “Willie Horton” advert backed by supporters of George H.W. Bush’s presidential marketing campaign. It depicted Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis as liable for the rape Horton, a convicted assassin, dedicated whereas out of jail whereas furloughed underneath a Massachusetts program. The advert was seen as taking part in into white concern and racist stereotypes of African-American.
Thirty years later, Trump’s spot is the Willie Horton advert on steroids — and taking part in into the identical racist stereotypes, this time with Latino immigrants.
A supply near the White Home described the net advert in addition to Trump’s immigration push as “altering the argument from household unification to invasion.”
“It is clearly working. We’re all speaking about it and never well being care,” the supply added.
New CNN polls underscore why Republicans — who extensively view sustaining management of the Home as a long-shot however see turning out conservatives in key Senate races as a possibility to develop their majority there — are all-in on a method of fear-mongering over racial divides.
In Arizona, 50% of Republican probably voters say immigration is an important concern — up from 35% in September. And in Nevada, 42% of Republican probably voters recognized immigration as an important concern, a rise from 28% in September. Each states characteristic aggressive Senate races.
What’s not clear: Whether or not Republican voters’ shifting views are a response to Trump’s messaging, or whether or not Trump and different GOP candidates are shifting their messaging as a response to the motion of their base.
Some Republicans operating in additional reasonable territory have damaged with Trump over his concern mongering on immigration. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican operating for re-election in a district Hillary Clinton gained in 2016, referred to as the brand new net advert “a part of a divide-and-conquer technique.”
“I hope this does not work. I hope that kind of technique begins failing in our nation,” Curbelo informed CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning.
Nevertheless, candidates and outdoors teams in different aggressive races the place Republicans’ main concern is popping out their base are additionally airing adverts stoking fears in regards to the group of migrants.
“A caravan of unlawful immigrants marching on America. Over 7,000 robust, the caravan is stuffed with gang members and criminals,” a narrator says. It has aired 124 instances, per Kantar/CMAG.
Two different Republican Senate candidates, state Sen. Leah Vukmir in Wisconsin and Corey Stewart in Virginia, have additionally marketed in regards to the “caravan.” Stewart’s advert has run 469 instances, per Kantar/CMAG.
What these candidates all have in frequent: They should jolt the conservative base earlier than Tuesday’s midterms. In Blackburn and Cruz’s circumstances, each will win if Republicans end up to vote. The identical is true in Minnesota’s 1st District, the place Republican Jim Hagedorn hopes to win the retiring Rep. Tim Walz’s seat. In Vukmir and Stewart’s circumstances, each are underdogs frightened that Republican voters will sit out the race.
On a lot of the map — particularly the states and districts the place the partisan make-up is extra balanced — Republicans have typically not made the “caravan” their focus within the closing days of the midterms. Nonetheless, most aren’t displeased to see Trump driving a cultural message of concern.
“It is incendiary, I get it,” one Nevada Republican stated of the Trump advert. “It is a turnout recreation, and it fires up folks on each side.”
CNN’s Aaron Kessler, Jennifer Agiesta, Jim Acosta and Stephen Collinson contributed to this report.