The following is a statement from Immigrants' List Executive Director Drew Seman.
Despite running immigration attacks ads that aired more than12,000 times, Mitt Romney lost double digit leads in Iowa and New Hampshire to the very candidates he targeted.
Instead of helping him across the finish line, Romney's hard line attacks backfired. According to CNN exit polls, Iowa voters who listed immigration as their number one issue chose Huckabee. New Hampshire Republicans favored Romney's position to McCain's, but when asked "Who ran the most unfair campaign?" New Hampshire voters said Romney three times more than any of his opponent.
The inability of Tom Tancredo's campaign to gain traction should have been an early sign: the hard line anti-immigration message isn't what most voters want to hear.
As poorly as these results bode for the use of immigration attacks in a Republican primary, the general election picture is much worse. Polls show that for the highly coveted independent voters, immigration trails far behind health care, the economy, the War in Iraq. Romney lost independent Republican Primary voters by 13 points in New Hampshire, winning only 27 percent. In Iowa it was worse-19 percent. Meanwhile, McCain and Obama, who both have strong records of supporting immigration reform, won the independent vote in New Hampshire.
Immigrants' List is a bipartisan, pro-immigration reform political action committee. Founded in October of 2006, Immigrants' List supports candidates who will work towards meaningful reform measures. Please visit http://www.immigrantslist.org/ for more information.
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