‘Alienating a few affluent and liberal-leaning Republicans turned out to be a small price to pay…’
(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) The Center for Immigration Studies released a new study Monday on public opinion of immigration and the 2016 presidential election.
James G. Gimpel, a professor of government at the University of Maryland, analyzed immigration’s prominent role in the election and the attention it has garnered in public opinion.
“Donald Trump made immigration a central theme of his campaign, raising the subject frequently at major rallies and in widely covered speeches,” Gimpel wrote. “It was one topic of consistent message discipline in an organization that many called untidy and haphazard.”
Gimpel said the polarization that America experienced during the 2016 election was no new phenomenon, though it has grown more divided in recent years.
“Immigration now polarizes the mass public to an extent not seen in contemporary times,” Gimpel said. “No one contests that the Trump candidacy in the 2016 election was a source of this heightened interest.”
Gimpel claimed immigration was a deciding factor in the 2016 election more than the 2012 election.
“Immigration politics had a notable impact on the improvement of the Trump vote over the Romney vote for the following subgroups of the population when they were found to adhere to conservative immigration policies: the well-educated, women, African Americans, and weak Democrats,” Gimpel wrote. “At the same time, when voters were proponents of generous immigration policy, Trump did worse than Romney among the following groups: Hispanics, strong Republicans, and higher income voters.”
Because immigration is such a divisive issue, it has the possibility to attract voters but also push them away, Gimpel said.
“Any campaign strategy emphasizing an incendiary wedge issue will produce trade-offs in support, as a candidate may lose voters that an alternative candidate from their party might have won, while improving on support from other blocs that another candidate would have lost,” Gimpel wrote. “From the evidence assembled here, the gains from a focus on immigration restriction appear to have been considerably larger than the losses.”
“Alienating a few affluent and liberal-leaning Republicans turned out to be a small price to pay, at least for a campaign that was not required to beg for money,” he continues. “These same affluent elites are now scrambling to regain control of their party from a populist hijacking.”
Gimpel said that a successful Republican campaign in the future should stress border control to gain more votes.
He also provided insights for the current administration to gain more votes.
“Success will require that they take a less libertarian view of the nation’s border, favoring modest but reasonable immigration control measures,” he wrote. “Immigration is not the only issue on which Republican elites will have to make adjustments in Donald Trump’s direction, but doing so will be a step back toward regaining that most important of political resources: electoral trust.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that Customs and Border Protection saw the “lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record, as measured by apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at the U.S. ports of entry,” according to a press release.
Acting Secretary Elaine Duke attributes the department’s success to the efforts of the current administration.
“We have clearly seen the successful results of the President’s commitment to supporting the frontline officers and agents of DHS as they enforce the law and secure our borders,” Duke said. “We have an obligation to uphold the integrity of our immigration system, but we must do more to step up and close loopholes to protect the American worker, our economy, and our communities.”Click here for reuse options!
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