Anti-immigration GOP congressman stumbles in pro-Trump district


Since the summer, far-right congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) has seen a 4-point lead over his challenger slip to a virtual tie.

Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), a hardline anti-immigration Republican who has defended Trump's family separation policy, is in a neck-and-neck race despite being in a solidly pro-Trump district.

A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll shows Perry with a mere 1-point lead over Democratic challenger George Scott. The same polling outfit showed Perry with a 4-point lead in June.

The poll shows Perry stumbling in other ways as well: If given a choice today, results show that half the district would vote for Trump, while only 41 percent would vote for Hillary Clinton. Yet Perry can barely muster a 1-point advantage.

And the enthusiasm gap looks to benefit his challengers.

Among voters who are "very excited" to vote, Perry is trailing by 1 point. Among voters who are "somewhat excited" to vote, Perry and Scott are tied. It is only among voters who are "not that excited" that Perry holds a lead.

Perry, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, is widely known for his radical anti-immigration views. Perry supports spending billions of taxpayer dollars to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, defended Trump's Muslim Ban, and even opposed efforts to allow refugees from Syria to find solace in the United States.

When the Trump administration spent the summer tearing families apart with the cruel and illegal family separation policy, Perry repeatedly defended Trump's actions.

On more than one occasion, Perry used false, made-up data about human trafficking to defend policies that tear children out of the arms of parents.

He has also complained that children can "only" be detained for 20 days, a policy put in place to protect the health and well-being of children.

When given the opportunity to criticize the family separation policy, Perry refused. He briefly lamented about the plight of the children Trump whisked away from their parents, but then immediately pivoted to a vigorous defense of the policy.

In 2016, Perry ran in a much more Republican-friendly district. Early in 2018, the Pennsylvania congressional districting map was ruled unconstitutional, and Perry is now in a slightly less Republican-friendly district, but one where he should still have an advantage.

But as the polls show, support for Perry is slipping.