Group targets Stephanie Murphy, Charlie Crist districts with immigration robocalls

Stephanie Murphy and Charlie Crist
The American Action Network messages against 'Biden Border Crisis.'

A conservative group will target two Florida congressional districts with robocalls blasting President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

The American Action Network (AAN) launched a campaign targeting 49 districts across the nation. That includes Florida’s 7th and 13th Congressional Districts, held now by Democrats Stephanie Murphy and Charlie Crist, respectively.

In 16 of the districts across the country, AAN will target voters with digital ads. In the bulk of districts, including both Florida seats, the same messaging will be delivered to phones.

“Border security is national security,” the message states, “but instead of focusing on opening schools or businesses, Joe Biden opened the border,” it says.

Republicans in recent weeks have hammered the new Democratic administration on an increase in border crossings and unaccompanied minors arriving.

“Illegal crossings up 28%, more than 100,000 just last month,” the call states. “And the number of unaccompanied children has tripled. Biden and Nancy Pelosi have empowered drug cartels and human smugglers, creating a humanitarian crisis.”

It closes with a call to action to voters.

“Tell Congress, enforce the law and stop the Biden border crisis.”

The districts clearly represent areas where Republicans want to go on offense. Murphy and Crist won their seats in 2016, defeating Republican incumbents John Mica and David Jolly, respectively, and have been reelected each election cycle since. While districts could shift substantially in the upcoming redistricting process, it’s clear conservatives hope to win over voters now and shift the regions red.

The National Republican Congressional Committee also made clear it will target these districts this cycle.

The ads don’t attack the incumbent Democrats by name; they instead aim to energize the base over a hot button issue among conservative voters. That’s true with every district where calls go out, but it happens to make particular sense with these seats, arguably the most purple seats in the state held by Democrats now.

Muphy has started to signal increasingly she intends to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2022 midterms. Crist, a former Governor, has also dropped hints he may challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis to win his old job back. That could leave both seats open this election cycle.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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