Trump's racist strategy backfires: 'Candidates who hitched their wagon to Trump lost decidedly'
Donald Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant fearmongering failed some of his closest allies in numerous key races Tuesday, including the stunning defeat of professional vote suppressor Kris Kobach, who lost the Kansas gubernatorial race to Democrat Laura Kelly. Kobach, who vice-chaired Trump’s sham of a voter fraud commission, “has a long history of vilifying immigrants and pushing repressive policies,” said immigrant rights leader Frank Sharry. “He has inflicted pain on millions. It finally caught up with him.”
Kobach wasn’t alone. In Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta lost the state’s U.S. Senate seat by double digits. The congressman, Sharry continued, “is about as Trumpy a candidate as there is. As mayor of Hazleton, he became a nativist firebrand. As a member of Congress, he has been an anti-immigrant stalwart,” and as a Senate candidate, he received donations from an extremist group with ties to a notorious white nationalist. Pennsylvania said “no gracias” and re-elected Democrat Bob Casey.
Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner also hitched his wagon to hate, and in the final days of the election tried to capitalize on Trump’s fearmongering over asylum seekers and vulnerable families by releasing an ad titled “Caravan.” It spectacularly backfired, with a survey from The Immigration Hub and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) finding that 62 percent of moderate suburban female voters disapproved of the ad.
Wagner, along with Virginia candidates Barbara Comstock, Dave Brat and Corey Stewart, could have learned a thing or two from Ed Gillespie’s failed 2017 campaign in the commonwealth. Gilliespie was all-in on Trumpism in his bid for the gubernatorial seat, fearmongering about MS-13. The punditry, along with white nationalist Steve Bannon, said it would work for him. “I think the big lesson for Tuesday is that, in Gillespie’s case, Trumpism without Trump can show the way forward,” Bannon claimed. Gillespie lost by nine points, his ad having backfired and turned off suburban voters.