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New Message Platform for 2018’s Key Battlegrounds: report from phone survey & web-panel in the 12-state battleground
Thursday, May 03 2018

Democrats sit at the edge of a landslide repudiation of President Trump and Republicans – in the Congress and states where they govern – in November. This is according to the first of three waves of a phone survey (conducted mostly on cell-phones) of registered voters and a coordinated on-going web-panel of more than 3,100 target voters in 12 states that include 12 Governor races, 10 Senate races, and 18 races in DCCC battleground districts. This suite of research provides clear guidance for progressive domination in these battlegrounds: take away the GOP’s presumed strengths – the state of the macro-economy and the new Republican tax cut – and make the most of their weaknesses on key issues that go to the heart of the case against Republican Trump-ism.

  • First, Democrats must appeal to the large majority of voters struggling with wages that don’t keep up with rising costs, particularly the cost of health care. Trump and the Republicans promised to reduce these costs but supported policies with the opposite effect. 
  • Second, they should embrace an evolved economic message that insists on better from politicians than the short-term spending spree for the top one percent that endangers Social Security and Medicare and the short-sighted cuts to education and health care. (It is notable that this new message out-performed the “rigged” economic message that performed best up until now).
  • Third, they should join the students of Parkland and attack Republicans for failing to act on gun control, which has become a top voting issue, particularly for millennials.  

African Americans are already performing higher on turnout measures in this poll, but this message framework and the attacks on health care costs and gun-control significantly increase the number of high turnout voters among Hispanics, millennials and unmarried women as well.