Mark Zuckerberg, the technology mogul best known for his creation of Facebook, is becoming more and more active in politics these days. Recently he’s been using the immigration reform advocacy group that he started, FWD.us, to make clear to Republicans that the time to act on immigration reform is now.
While the comprehensive immigration reform bill before Congress has largely stalled in front of the GOP-led House of Representatives, reform is an increasingly personal subject for Republicans as election season once again approaches. Zuckerberg and FWD.us used this reality to their advantage this past week when they released the results of a poll conducted through an affiliate of theirs, the Council for American Job Growth.
The poll focused on 10 swing districts with incumbent Republican representatives. In those districts, FWD.us and the Council for American Job Growth attempted to measure the ways in which voter loyalty to those incumbents would be affected when voters were shown pro-immigration advertising. This advertising centered on the negative results of not passing immigration reform and linked those results to the incumbent Republicans.
The results of the poll were significant. After voters read a sample piece of the advertising, the study showed vote shares for the Republican incumbent dropping 6 percent overall and 7 percent among Independents, whose votes hold considerable value in swing districts. Kate Hansen, a spokeswoman for FWD.us, explained that these results could very well be indicative of electoral repercussions this autumn.
“The data makes clear that there are real electoral consequences for Republicans in these districts, because voters tie them to their own party’s failure to take action on passing reform legislation,” Hansen said in a statement.
While representatives from FWD.us and The Council for American Job Growth refused to answer questions regarding whether they intended to run these sort of advertisements closer to election time, they certainly have the capacity to do so. FWD.us alone has spent millions on advertising in 2014.