Will Trump's Efforts To Make Migrant Caravan A Midterm Campaign Issue Stick?

President Trump is working hard to make the U.S.-bound migrant caravan into an election issue, but so far it’s not resonating broadly with voters or forcing Democrats to play defense.

Whether on the stump, in tweets or before a microphone, Mr. Trump hammers Democrats for the thousands of migrants marching from Central America toward the U.S. He warns that it’s evidence of an immigration crisis and a threat to national security, with gang members and even potential terrorists hiding amid the marchers.

He said Monday that he has declared it a national emergency and has alerted the Pentagon to be ready to respond.

Mr. Trump blamed leaders from Honduras, whence most of the migrants come, Guatemala, through which they traveled, and Mexico, where thousands broke through the border this weekend.

So far, Democrats have been able to shrug off the issue. Questions about the caravan have been absent from debates in key Senate races over the past week.

Although cable news channels have given the caravan plenty of airtime and reporters peppered Mr. Trump on Monday with questions about his plans for the caravan, they have been less interested in what Democrats have to say.

But it is a high-priority issue for Republican voters, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey last week.

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said that may be good enough for Mr. Trump heading into November.

“You are essentially talking about a base election,” he said. “The key is: Can you turn out your base better than the Democrats can? And for us, this may not pull in a lot of independent voters given the timing of it, but it is certainly an issue that can fire up even more Republican voters.”

Read more from S.A. Miller and Stephen Dinan at The Washington Times

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