Fox News host Laura Ingraham sparked controversy this week when she attempted to blame Republican losses in Virginia’s local elections Tuesday on immigrants and George Soros.
“Democrats took control of both state houses, giving them full control of the entire government for the first time since 1994,” Ingraham said. “Now the road to Democrat dominance in the commonwealth was paved long before Trump took the presidency. The undeniable fact is that demographic changes throughout the state, but especially in Northern Virginia, have altered what was once a moderate to right-of-center state. And it made it really a Petri dish for radical left-wing ideas.
“Virginia’s foreign-born population nearly doubled from 2000 to 2017,” she continued. “And these immigrants are mostly concentrated in Northern Virginia. Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, outside of D.C., and they are altering the demographic makeup of the state. And, as The Washington Post and others have pointed out, the electorate.”
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump explained the flaws in Ingraham’s argument: “She’s right that changes in the northern part of the state are why Virginia is now blue. But those changes have much more to do with the growth of the D.C. suburbs and an influx of Democratic-voting college-educated residents than anything else.”
Ingraham added that “we warned you about another factor that's important to note in this Virginia race, and it should jolt Republicans into action themselves.”
She added, “In this cycle, huge amounts of outside money flowed into Virginia's local elections. George Soros pumped millions in to elect commonwealth attorneys who pledge to radically change how we prosecute crime in the commonwealth, prioritizing so-called social justice concerns over public safety.”
Bump noted that while Ingraham was happy to blame “foreign-born” population increases for GOP losses in Virginia, she praised President Donald Trump for elevating a failing candidate in Kentucky to a close loss in the state’s governor’s race.
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“We had Matt Bevin, who had about a 32 percent approval rating back in July; Trump comes into town, gets this thing tied up at 49-49,” Ingraham argued.
“This race would have been a 10-point race for the Democrat. That is the power of Donald Trump,” Ingraham concluded, adding that “anyone thinking anything differently tonight isn’t being honest with the way the electoral map works, or what happened down-ballot.”
Ingraham was referring to the GOP sweep of all the other state offices up for grabs in Kentucky. Bump notes one major flaw in Ingraham’s “foreign-born” population argument in Virginia and “Blame Bevin in Kentucky argument”: Kentucky has actually seen a larger increase in its foreign-born population growth than Virginia has.
Bump notes that, in general, “rate of growth is a silly metric to use – of course, unless you’re trying to alarm people about a surge of immigrants.”