Immigration Failed as Wedge Issue in 2008 Campaigns

A new study of election advertising pertaining to immigration has found that the issue largely failed as a so-called “wedge issue” this election. While some Republicans ran harsh anti-immigration ads to attack their Democratic rivals, most of them lost.

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A new study by the group America’s Voice has found that politicians who relied on harsh immigration ads as a campaign strategy lost to candidates who either advocated comprehensive immigration reform or who did not talk about the issue.

The study–titled “Anti-Immigration Ads Don’t Add Up in 2008“–found that the use of immigration as a wedge issue in the 2008 campaign was a failure. The study found that $27.2 million was spent on ads pertaining by immigration in 79 federal races and campaigns in 35 states, including Michigan. This money produced 234 immigration-related ads, of which 84% either advocated “enforcement-only” or harsh anti-immigration positions. Only 5% of ads advocated comprehensive immigration reform.

The report finds that Republicans were largely responsible for the harshest ads–running 85% of them–yet only 21% of those ads were placed by winning Republicans and their allies. The study also finds that Republican infighting over immigration often led to depleted resources for general election campaigns.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org