Democratic candidates running for re-election in the 2018 midterms are being advised to spend "as little time as possible" discussing open-border immigration policies unpopular with swing voters.
In a four-page memo from John Podesta's Center for American Progress and centrist think tank Third Way, strategists acknowledge that Republican attacks on sanctuary cities "pack a punch," however they advise that Democrats instead focus on health care and taxation, according to the New York Times.
“Sanctuary attacks pack a punch,” says a four-page memorandum, prepared by the liberal Center for American Progress and the centrist think tank Third Way, that has been shared at about a dozen briefings for Democrats in recent weeks. The New York Times obtained a copy of the memo, whose findings are based on interviews and surveys conducted over the summer.
Many of the Republican attacks use misleading language and employ overblown claims about the dangers of immigrants. But the fear-based appeal demonstrates how Mr. Trump has overcome months of negative headlines about his hard-edge immigration policies to make the issue a potentially profitable one as Republicans try to preserve their slim Senate majority and defy projections that they will lose the House.
Democrats, the strategists who prepared the memo advised, could neutralize the attacks if they responded head-on. But they should spend “as little time as possible” talking about immigration itself, and instead pivot to more fruitful issues for Democrats like health care and taxation. -NYT
"It is very difficult to win on immigration with vulnerable voters in the states Trump carried in 2016," reads the memo, which adds that "even the most draconian of Republican policies" such as separating migrant families has had little impact on swing voters.
And as Breitbart's John Binder notes, "Democrats have geared up for the 2018 midterm elections by running on a platform that would abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which would end all immigration enforcement across the United States. Three in four swing voters oppose the Democrats’ “abolish ICE” initiative."
How unpopular is the Democrats' plan to abolish ICE? 3-in-4 swing voters say they oppose it. Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they oppose it. https://t.co/4Xlk8T81m9— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) July 1, 2018
Binder adds that Trump's immigration plan has "sweeping support among not only Republican voters, but swing voters and black Americans."
In an April Harvard/Harris Poll, nearly 2-out-3 supported reducing legal immigration levels to the U.S. In May, 52 percent of swing voters opposed allowing big businesses to import more foreign workers to compete against their fellow citizens for coveted blue-collar and white-collar jobs.
And in a June CBS/YouGov poll, 55% of swing voters in battleground districts supported the border wall as a "good idea that can probably be completed" or a "good idea that should be tried, even if it can't be completed."