GOP strategist says Republican candidates are ‘all over the map’ on immigration


Republican pollster and strategist Patrick Ruffini said in an interview that aired Tuesday on “What America’s Thinking” that Republican midterm candidates are taking a variety of positions when it comes to addressing immigration on the campaign trail. 

“You see by and large Democrats not really wanting to talk about it [immigration], and Republicans taking positions that are a little bit all over the map,” Ruffini, co-founder of Echelon Insights, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha. 

“In some districts where they’re running that are more moderate districts, maybe Clinton districts, they’re running on this hybrid approach of ‘we do need to secure the border and we need solutions on the Dream Act,'” he continued. 

“In other areas, they’re running much stronger on border security, and I think that’s particularly true in the Senate battlegrounds that come from overwhelmingly Trump states where they do need to mobilize their base to get their base out to vote,” he said. 

Democrats have pushed back forcefully against Trump’s immigration policies, including the administration’s former policies of separating families of illegal immigrants at the border. 

The variety in approach when it comes to running on President Trump’s hardline immigration policies can be seen in Republican campaigns in suburban congressional districts. 

NBC News reported that Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), for example, has distanced himself from Trump’s immigration policies as he works to defend the state’s 7th district, which the Cook Political Report has rated as a “toss-up.”

However, the Republican nominee in the state’s 11th congressional district, Jay Webber, has chosen to align himself with the president’s immigration policies. 

Trump won the 11th district by one point in 2016. 

— Julia Manchester

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