Michael Tesler

“Former President Donald Trump's signature campaign issue of immigration immediately helped fuel his remarkable rise to the top of the Republican primary polls in 2015. In a 2018 study, political scientists John Sides, Lynn Vavreck and I found that negative views of immigrants were a strong and consistent predictor of Republicans' support for Trump in the primaries — from the very start of his campaign in June 2015 up until he formally accepted the GOP nomination in July 2016. Attitudes toward immigration were also a much more potent factor in the 2016 primaries than they had been in prior Republican nominating contests. Unlike Trump, who powerfully tapped into a reservoir of anti-immigrant sentiment en route to winning the nomination, then-Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both performed slightly better among pro-immigrant voters than they did with immigration hawks in the 2008 and 2012 GOP primaries, respectively. As important as immigration was to Trump's 2016 success, though, it now appears to be an even stronger source of support for him in the 2024 primaries against former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.”

Continue reading: https://abcnews.go.com/538/immigration-driving-support-gop-primary/story?id=106777173

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