Politics & Policy

Angle Wins Independents with Tough Immigration Stance

A few weeks ago, the Sharron Angle campaign stepped into the immigration issue. Armed with internal polling and electoral math on immigration, Team Angle ran a couple of hard-hitting ads.

Now, it looks as if Angle may have hit polling pay dirt with independent voters, their targeted demographic.

Angle’s new anti-Reid “An Illegal Immigrant’s Best Friend” ad went live on the Nevada airwaves September 14. The spot went after Reid on issues of benefits for immigrants, his lack of support for the Arizona immigration law and his recent advocacy for the DREAM Act. Last week, Team Angle pulled the old ad and replaced it with a similar spot:

The senior senator’s campaign objected to the Angle campaign’s characterization of some of their stances and issued a rapid-fire response ad within 48 hours. They are also likely aware, just as Team Angle is, that appearing tough on illegal immigration is one way to win an independent voter’s heart:

FactCheck.org said both the initial ads were misleading. Reid does not support “tax breaks” or “social security benefits” for illegal immigrants. What the Angle ad gets right, though, is that Reid would give those on the path to citizenship benefits “for the time they were here illegally.”

Recent polls support the argument that Harry Reid may be on the wrong side of illegal-immigration issues with many Nevada voters.

A Mason-Dixon poll published last month showed 54 percent of Nevadans believe illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from Nevada citizens, which Reid has said he does not believe.

In addition, a Fox News opinion poll last week showed a high percentage of Nevadans still favor an Arizona-style immigration law, a measure Reid does not support.

Angle is ahead of Reid among nonpartisan voters in M-D’s poll out last Friday. The GOP challenger is beating Reid with independents by a full 20 percent, earning 51 percent support compared with 31 percent for Reid in a full-ballot test. The new numbers are double the spread in the previous Mason-Dixon poll, when Angle led Reid just 42-33 among nonpartisans.

Poll numbers can seldom be said to prove a one-for-one, issue-to-votes correlation, but illegal immigration issues are clearly driving at least some independent voters into Sharron Angle’s camp.

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