STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Negative campaign ads up 61% since 2014

CNN's John Avlon breaks down the nationwide surge in negative campaign ads and the money behind them as the midterm elections loom.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 6:58 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 7:29 AM

President Donald Trump is at it again, tweeting a thinly veiled racist attack ad designed to turn out his white base for the midterm elections. According to CNN exit polls 57% of white people voted for Trump in 2016. He needs them to come out and vote Tuesday to keep a Republican majority in Congress.

The ad shows some frightening video of an undocumented immigrant from Mexico talking about killing police in the past and hopefully (he says, as he is led away by authorities) in the future. He smiles as he does this; his lawyer has said he is mentally ill.

The ad is designed to remind Trump voters of why they voted for him the first time. It is based on fear, not reality. The reality is those same white voters have more to fear from each other when it comes to crime than they do undocumented immigrants.

Recent Department of Justice statistics show that when whites are the victims of violent crimes, in 57% of the cases, the perpetrator is white. In other words, those 57% of Trump supporters should be looking at each other with more suspicion than they do at other racial or ethnic groups -- including undocumented immigrants.

The research is clear. Undocumented and legal immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born American citizens. The libertarian Cato Institute published a study based on Texas data that showed native-born citizens are more likely to be convicted of committing violent crimes, such as homicide, than either undocumented or legal immigrants.

Nationwide research also showed that states with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than those with smaller shares of undocumented immigrants. That research held up even when the authors controlled for age, urban areas, labor markets and incarceration rates. After exhaustive research, they concluded that illegal immigration does not increase crime.

So why the scary commercial? Because racism is a helluva drug.

Trump is playing to racist stereotypes about Latinos -- the same stereotypes that led him to say, when announcing his run for President: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems. ... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some I assume, are good people."

Why does he have to assume some are good people? Because he does not know for sure. What he does know is that talking about Mexican immigrants as criminals will pander to his base, which apparently buys into the Latino-as-criminal stereotype, even though evidence shows this to be false.

Facts don't matter now; Trump has a midterm to win. But according to exit polls, 28% of Latinos voted for Trump in 2016. As Democrats and Republicans vie for the Latino vote in tight races across the country, Trump's ad might prove to be his biggest political blunder yet.

Perhaps the midterms will show that Trump should have been more worried about tweeting an ad that instead energized Latino voters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320292

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22299271
Hinds20782424
Harrison18455317
Rankin13933282
Jackson13740249
Madison10276225
Lee10068176
Jones8475167
Forrest7845153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6524150
Lamar636688
Lafayette6315121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4842133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4610148
Marshall4576105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc426173
Monroe4163136
Union415977
Neshoba4066180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3374111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314771
Adams308586
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292468
Prentiss284461
Leake272474
Marion271480
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232469
Winston230382
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210759
Holmes190574
Stone188833
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135547
Greene131934
Lawrence131424
Montgomery128943
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126542
Carroll122330
Webster115132
Jefferson Davis108534
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79218
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549394

Reported Deaths: 11328
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810851571
Mobile42180832
Madison35733524
Tuscaloosa26186460
Shelby25638255
Montgomery25103615
Baldwin21921314
Lee16301176
Calhoun14725329
Morgan14650286
Etowah14192364
Marshall12465230
Houston10798289
Elmore10302214
Limestone10191157
St. Clair10166251
Cullman9975201
Lauderdale9621250
DeKalb8978190
Talladega8467184
Walker7351281
Autauga7244113
Jackson6993113
Blount6957139
Colbert6418140
Coffee5650128
Dale4931116
Russell455241
Chilton4476116
Franklin432082
Covington4283123
Tallapoosa4137155
Escambia402380
Chambers3731124
Dallas3609158
Clarke353361
Marion3264107
Pike314878
Lawrence3135100
Winston283672
Bibb268664
Geneva258782
Marengo250566
Pickens237062
Barbour234460
Hale227078
Butler225071
Fayette219763
Henry194844
Randolph187744
Cherokee187545
Monroe181041
Washington170639
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156157
Cleburne153744
Lamar147237
Lowndes142154
Wilcox126830
Bullock124642
Conecuh113830
Coosa112129
Perry108826
Sumter106032
Greene93734
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 97°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 100°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 93°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 100°
Temperatures heat up significantly into your Thursday as humidity flows into the region. This combination will lead to some dangerous heat index values as well as a few thunderstorms. Most will end up staying rain-free. But all of us will endure the heat.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather