May 29, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Republicans hop on immigration bandwagon ahead of midterms

President Trump walking away from a helicopter with his right hand raised, wearing a red tie and a dark suit

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Republicans have aired more than 14,000 midterm campaign ads centered around touting hardline immigration stances, USA Today reports — making immigration the second most featured issue in campaigns, behind pro-Trump language.

Why it matters: This is a big change from 2014, when immigration did not even make the list of top 10 issues Republicans spent ad money on. On the hill, immigration is dividing the Republican party. Moderates are more open to finding any solution possible to give Dreamers a pathway to citizenship, while hardliners refuse to back down from their list of immigration policy changes, which would lower legal immigration levels.

Key quote: "Just about every survey I’ve seen shows that among Republican primary voters, immigration is one of the most important issues, if not the most important,” Brian Murray, a GOP consultant based in Arizona, told USA Today.

Meanwhile Democrats are focusing their messaging on health care.

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