As highlighted in new reports from the Associated Press and New York Times, and following Vice reporting from last week, a “half-dozen mainstream Republican Senate candidates” are “drawing on the ‘great replacement conspiracy theory once confined to the far-right fringes of U.S. politics to court voters this campaign season.”
In a transparent effort to stoke fear and cater to the extremists within their party, the GOP has heavily borrowed from white nationalist rhetoric, which has inspired mass-shootings across the country — most recently in Buffalo, New York.
So far, on the campaign trail, Republican U.S. Senate candidates have rushed to adopt the racist talking points that have “migrated from the far-right fringes of American discourse toward the center of Republican politics.” In states like Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin both incumbents and candidates have willingly spread this disturbing, divisive, and willfully dangerous rhetoric.
In Arizona, Blake Masters has repeatedly used replacement theory rhetoric, warning voters of a made-up immigrant invasion that he threatens will “change the demographics of our country.” On Saturday, Masters even doubled down on his white nationalist creed mere hours after the Buffalo shooting.
In Missouri, Attorney General Eric Schmitt has looked to scare the right-wing radicals in his party by claiming Democrats are “fundamentally trying to change this country through illegal immigration.” Meanwhile, disgraced former governor Eric Greitens has said that “immigrants are flooding into all of the 50 states, and that includes Missouri […] wiping out the distinction between citizens and non-citizens.”
In Ohio, JD Vance is “reclaiming the racist label” by ginning up anger amongst white nationalists and feeding their fear that an immigrant “invasion” will “transform the electorate.”
And in Wisconsin, Senator Ron Johnson has claimed Democrats want to “remake the demographics of America.”