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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.

Go deeper

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

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