Study: Biden can lure Pa., swing state moderates on immigration | Tuesday Morning Coffee

August 4, 2020 7:18 am

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 10: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the media and a small group of supporters with his wife Dr. Jill Biden during a primary night event on March 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Six states – Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington, and North Dakota held nominating contests today. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The immigration advocacy group, The Immigration Hub, says it’s identified nearly 6 million voters in four 2020 swing states (including Pennsylvania) that it believes can be swayed to vote for former Veep Joe Biden if they’re delivered the right messaging on immigration, an issue that had been one of the pillars of President Donald Trump’s popularity, but is now dragging him down in some polls.

Recent polling indicates that three years’ worth of hard-line rhetoric from the Republican White House on immigration has begun to cost Trump some support. In a Franklin & Marshall College poll last week, registered voters in Pennsylvania said, 51-37 percent, that Trump had earned a failing mark on immigration issues.

Separate polling by Immigration Hub and two other immigration advocacy groups indicated a similar bleed nationwide, with 57 percent of respondents saying they were deeply troubled by the administration’s “cruel and inhumane immigration policies” compared to 43 percent who said they were most upset about “open border immigration policies,” according to The Hill, a publication that covers Congress.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a new conference with members of the coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump updated the American people about what his administration’s ‘whole of government’ response to the global coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Working at the Immigration Hub’s behest, the research firm Civis Analytics spent a month test-driving two ads, each describing the ground level impact of Trump’s policies, to 9,000 moderate voters in Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Based on those voters’ reactions, the analytics firm extrapolated, coming up with its model of nearly 6 million moderate voters across those four states that they believe can be successfully convinced with similar messaging.

That sample, strangely enough, includes non-college educated white males, who, conventional wisdom dictates, would be Trump supporters.

Indeed, researchers acknowledge that their inclusion “may be counter-intuitive, but we found that many audiences that are more sympathetic to immigrants (i.e. white college women and people of color) are already supportive of Democrats and their position on immigration.”

The research indicates that about 9 percent of those voters in Pennsylvania (Immigration Hub calls them ‘Family Patriots’) can be moved into Biden’s column with the right messaging (one ad includes a veteran speaking directly to the camera).

And while that doesn’t seem like a lot, it might just be enough. Trump carried Pennsylvania by a little more than 44,000 votes in 2016 — or a little less than a percentage point.

But for that to happen, the research indicates that advocates will have to be aggressive in their messaging and not cede the ground to Trump.

It’s a tall order. The research indicates that Trump’s campaign has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media ads touting its hardline message on immigration. Organizers are optimistic on their chances.

President Trump’s 2020 electoral strategy continues to be centered on race-baiting and fear-mongering, but the most crucial voters to persuade in November reject the chaos his immigration policies have caused,” Immigration Hub Executive Director Tyler Moran said in a statement. “As the Trump campaign continues to go all in on xenophobia and cruelty, Democrats must lean in and articulate a vision for a functioning immigration system or risk leaving pivotal votes on the table.”

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
Twenty-one years after the U.S. Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to segregate people with disabilities from their communities, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services was in federal court in Harrisburg defending itself against allegations that it did just that, Cassie Miller reports.

Four months in, Gov. Tom Wolf is still counting on Pa. to voluntarily follow pandemic rules, but cops are on standby, Stephen Caruso reports.

After a dismal June, Pennsylvania started off the 2020-21 fiscal year with $4.1 billion in tax collections, your humble newsletter author reports.

Faculty and staff at the University of Pennsylvania have signed a petition calling on the Ivy League institution to make tax payments to help support the city’s schools, the Philadelphia Tribune reports.

On our Commentary Page, an education researcher recommends ways to combat the ‘COVID slide’ among Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable students. And two Penn State scholars say it’s time move beyond ‘race’ to a new and more positive paradigm of describing each other.

Protesters in Philadelphia have called on Comcast to give free internet access to city schoolchildren, the Inquirer reports.
Despite the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Lottery has had a record year, the Tribune-Review reports.
Camp Hill’s school superintendent has suddenly retired as the district draws up its reopening plans, PennLive reports.
An unemployment fraud investigation stopped $44 million from reaching scam artists, the Morning Call reports.
Landlords tell the Citizens-Voice that they’re ‘frustrated’ by an eviction moratorium. Imagine how frustrating homelessness is.
A lack of PPE and universal testing accounts for why four Lancaster County nursing homes lost a nearly a quarter of their patients, LancasterOnline reports.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:

Rep. Patty Kim D-Dauphin, held a press conference Monday on criminal justice reform. The event was taken over by an audience who want more results than politics. The PA Post has the story.
The Millcreek schools in suburban Erie have opted for a hybrid reopening plan, GoErie reports.
Tear gas bans aren’t gaining much political reports.
Former President Barack Obama has endorsed 21 Pennsylvania Democratic hopefuls in a variety of legislative and statewide contests, PoliticsPA reports.
Talks on a new coronavirus relief package continued on Capitol Hill Monday. Negotiations were ‘productive’ but slow-movingRoll Call reports.

What Goes On.
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
 meets in Zoom session at 10 a.m.
The House Education Committee meets at 10 a.m. in 140 Main Capitol.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
State Sen. Pat Stefano
 holds a golf outing at Pleasant Valley Golf Club in Connellsville, Pa. Admission runs $150 to $5,000.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a great groove from Mark Ronson and Lyyke Li to get the morning moving, it’s ‘Late Night Feeling.’

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Andrei Svechnikov 
scored the first post-season hat trick in WhalerCanes franchise history to power Carolina past the New York Rangers 4-1 on Monday. The ‘Canes could wrap up the best of five series tonight.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.