|Focus groups find early breakthrough moment in off-years|
|Thursday, April 13 2017|
America has been roiled by the election of Donald Trump and total Republican control of the federal government. Will it be roiled again by a wave election in the coming off-year elections? That would require engaged and consolidated anti-Trump voters, demoralized Trump supporters and independent voters reacting against Trump and Republican overreach. On behalf of Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF), Democracy Corps went to the battleground states of Virginia and Ohio to speak to African American, white millennial and younger unmarried women and white older unmarried and working class women – the working women who will play a critical role in determining whether Democrats make a comeback in the coming off-year elections. Each of these groups disappointed Democrats to varying degrees in terms of vote and/or turnout in past off-years and in 2016, but our findings in these focus groups give us confidence that a dramatically better performance, even a wave, is possible.
So, only two months into this new administration, we are confident that Democrats can communicate messages that engage anti-Trump voters and that begin to erode the confidence of Trump voters in both Trump and Republicans. Democrats should not let up on their attacks on the Trump-Ryan health care alternative – specifically how it would make health care even more unaffordable and actually raises costs for seniors and the disabled. They should let everyone know of his main budget priorities: his wall paid for by cutting funding for Meals on Wheels and after-school programs and cancer research.
 On behalf of WVWVAF, Democracy Corps conducted six focus groups among working women March 23, 27-28 in Ohio and Virginia: white unmarried women over 45 and white non-college women in Akron, OH; white unmarried women under 45 and white millennial women in Cleveland, OH; African American women and white non-college women in Richmond, VA. Each group had a representative mix of Clinton (anti-Trump) and Trump voters.