Anti-Immigration Ads Don't Add Up in 2008

New analysis shows illegal immigration wedge strategy a bust.

Washington DC -- A new report released today by America's Voice analyzes the use of immigration in political ads during the 2008 election cycle.  Of the 234 television ads that ran on the issue of immigration, 84% focused on stricter security measures and anti-immigrant language.  However, that strategy was a complete failure. Only 32% of candidates supported in the harshest category of ads won their races.

To compile the report, America's Voice used information from the Campaign Media and Analysis Group (CMAG) to track immigration ads in the 2008 cycle. We found that the issue of immigration was used in 234 television ads in 79 races and 35 states at a cost of $27.2 million.

We then ranked the ads were on a scale of 1 (positive and pro-immigrant) to 5 (extremely anti-immigrant).  The report finds that 56% of the ads fell under category 5, at a cost of $21 million.  Ads that were ranked 1 were only 5% of the total ads, representing $2.7 million.

Even though significant money and resources were poured into anti-immigrant ads, the bulk of the candidates using them were not elected.  Of the 218 ads aired by Republicans or Democrats in races that have been decided, only 69, or 32% favored a winning candidate.

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