Immigration dominating GOP candidates' TV ads in House contests across the country

by Deirdre Shesgreen and Eliza Collins, USA TODAY

House Republican candidates are blanketing the airwaves with TV ads embracing a hard line on immigration — a dramatic shift from the last midterm elections in 2014 when immigration was not on the GOP's political radar, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Kantar Media.

Republicans have aired more than 14,000 campaign ads touting a tough Trump-style immigration platform so far this year. The barrage underscores why House GOP leaders worry that passing a legislative fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, referred to as DREAMers, would put GOP candidates at risk heading into the fall election.

“I’ll end sanctuary cities to stop illegals from taking our jobs … and use conservative grit to build the darn wall,” Troy Balderson, a GOP state senator running for Congress in Ohio, promises in one such ad.

Democrats, meanwhile, are bombarding voters with ads that promise to protect Obamacare, shore up Social Security, and expand Medicare, the data from Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) shows. 

“We need Medicare for all, to make absolutely certain that what happened to my family never happens to yours” California Democrat Paul Kerr says in on TV spot that begins by recounting how his family was financially devastated by medical bills after his mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders championed that kind of single-payer universal health care system in the 2016 election. 

The competing messages demonstrate just how far apart the two parties are. They’re not just talking about key issues differently; they’re touting completely different issues to motivate activists and win hotly contested primaries. 

Read the full article from USA TODAY

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