Anti-immigration attitudes are playing a bigger part in motivating voters in almost every Senate race in the current cycle than the desire for immigration reform. The Republican party could be the beneficiary of this sentiment, with its reluctance to move on the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate possibly helping the party in the mid-term elections.
Although polls suggest that more people are in favor of immigration reform than opposed to it, those who are against it tend to be more passionate and reliable voters and more likely to see it as a major issue and top priority. “That has always been the burden for progressives and Democrats,” believes Democratic pollster Joshua Ulibarri. “We do not punish the people who are wrong on our issues as much as Republicans punish people who are wrong on theirs.” NumbersUSA, a new group hoping to reduce the amount of immigrants in the United States, is attempting to capitalize on the frustration felt by those opposed to immigration reform. The group has announced that it will be running a series of advertisements on radio stations in Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Kansas, North Carolina, Alaska, Massachusetts and Michigan in the weeks that lead up to election day.
Rather than play on fears about border insecurity and the specter of Ebola, the group is focusing on the simple message that American jobs are being taken by immigrants. The 2014 campaign trail so far suggests the ads may reach a receptive audience.