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National Surveys
Women's Economic Agenda: Powerful Impact on Vote and Turnout in 2014
Wednesday, June 25 2014
Download this file (dcor wv graphs 062414 v3.pdf)Graphs[ ]1737 Kb
Download this file (dcor wv memo 062514 v5.pdf)Memo[ ]623 Kb
Download this file (dcor061514_wvwv_fq_WEB1.pdf)Frequency Questionnaire [ ]204 Kb

This is a turning point in the 2014 off-year elections when parties, candidates, and leaders can recognize how central are unmarried women and the Rising American Electorate to the Democrats’ chances and how clear a path there is to get their votes and get them to vote. This is the main finding of the most recent survey and focus groups from Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund.  This report should be a call to arms, a populist call to arms that sets up the stakes in these terms:

It's critical to vote in November. If Republicans win, big money will get its way, and even more hard-working women and men will be drowning. You can change that. We have an economic plan, including a women’s economic agenda. When the middle class succeeds, America succeeds.

This populist set-up, along with the “in-your-shoes” narrative about people’s economic struggles, and a policy agenda that includes equal pay and equal health insurance, help for working mothers and help with better jobs through raised minimum wage and more affordable college, shifts the race from one where Democrats trail by 1 point to one in which they are ahead by 3.  It also dramatically increases the turnout and Democratic preference of unmarried voters.  

Read the full memo

See the graphs

Key findings:

  • Unmarried women can make or break the election in 2014.
  • When 2014 likely voters are exposed to empathetic “in your shoes” messaging and an economic agenda for working women and men, it shifts the vote from -1 to +3.
  • When unmarried women are exposed to the same message framework, they shift from +17 Democratic margin to +31 and their turnout increases by 10 points.
  • The economic agenda for working women and men includes a cluster of powerful policies on helping working mothers, equal pay and equal health insurance, raising the minimum wage and making college affordable to get to better jobs. 
  • GOP attitude toward equal pay has most turnout effect and GOP attacks on Obamacare and economic policies increase Democratic turnout.
  • The national congressional race is tied and stable, with Democrats held back by modest vote among base RAE and unmarried women. 
  • Unmarried women are the main story because they are reporting modest turnout intentions and the vote among this group is now close to 2010 level. But they clearly can be moved and mobilized by “in your shoes” messaging.
  • Two contextual factors: 1. Wrong track and modest job approval for the president, and 2. Increased hostility towards Republicans and Congress.  Which will come to matter more will tell us how the race breaks.
  • Powerful closing rationale: if Republicans win, the people with money win and more working men and women will be drowning.



Broad Bi-Partisan Consensus Supports Reforms to Supreme Court
Wednesday, May 07 2014

Americans View Court as too Political

A new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps reveals that the Supreme Court has very lackluster job performance ratings and is viewed as overly political by Americans, who support a wide range of reforms for our nation’s highest court.  Perhaps most remarkably, even in a time of intense political polarization there is broad cross-partisan consensus on these issues. 

Once one of the country's more trusted institutions, today just 35 percent give the court a positive job performance rating and a strong majority believe that Justices are influenced more by their own personal beliefs and political leanings than by a strict legal analysis. 

Two recent decisions on campaign finance have only served to intensify Americans' dissatisfaction with the Court. The Citizens United ruling is deeply unpopular across every partisan and demographic group while Americans of nearly every stripe believe the recent McCutcheon ruling will make our political system more corrupt - again with broad consensus across Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

This survey also found overwhelming approval for a series of seven reforms to the Court, with large, cross-partisan majorities supporting such proposals as requiring the court to disclose any outside activities, abolishing lifetime appointments in favor of set terms and allowing televisions cameras to film the Court’s proceedings.           

Read the full memo here.   

The Urgent Economic Narrative for 2014
Tuesday, April 15 2014


The economy is still the main issue in the 2014 election, impacting the mood of the country, driving likely voter turnout, and defining what is at stake. With voters uncertain of President Obama and the Democrats’ direction on the economy, Democratic voters are 7 points less likely than Republicans to say they are ‘almost certain to vote’ in the off-year election in November.

But Democrats can change that equation if they show they understand people’s financial struggles, get the narrative right, push back against an economy that works only for the 1 percent, and offer an economic agenda that puts working women first.  

These are the key elements of the working women’s agenda – they drive Democratic support and increase turnout, not just among working women, but among a broad range of voters.

Read the full memo here


Framing the Women's Economic Agenda for Greatest 2014 Effect
Tuesday, April 08 2014

Getting it right has power to impact the vote and turnout

Unmarried women made up a quarter of the electorate in 2012 and gave two thirds of their votes to President Obama.  However, even as the fiscal choices made by Congress have significant impact on their personal economies, these voters are vulnerable to non-voting in off-year elections.  When we asked last March whether the national political debates were addressing the issues most important to them, 60 percent of unmarried women said, “no,” and did so with real intensity.  As we learned in 2010, these voters are critical to Democrats’ fortunes, but they are unlikely to vote, and less likely to give Democrats big margins, if Democrats are not laser focused on the issues that matter most to them.

To get at these issues, Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund began conducting extensive research on what motivates these voters to turn out and what motivates them to vote for Democrats.  When we first started this project, we learned that unmarried women were most energized and moved to vote for Democrats by a set of policies that addressed pocketbook economic issues. Since then, we have been talking to women all around the country to hone this agenda and develop strategic messages around these policies.  This week we will be releasing results from a new national survey on the women’s economic agenda.  There are several critical new findings from this survey, which should serve to focus the work of leaders dedicated to advancing these policies.  

Read the full memo here. 

See the graphs here.


Tipping Point on 2014 and The Affordable Care Act?
Friday, April 04 2014

Report on national survey of 2014 electorate

Whether we are at a tipping point in the 2014 election depends, first, on whether Democrats can get to a strong economic message-- and next week we will be releasing our results on the women’s economic agenda.  But it will depend further on whether the Affordable Care Act – now at a tipping point – is embraced with enthusiasm by its natural base of supporters and whether they become willing to defend its benefits against the threat of repeal at the ballot box. 

The Republicans have bet heavily on Obamacare's unpopularity, but that misreads the public's views on the Affordable Care Act.  The latest national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund finds evidence that prompts us to urge the political class to re-examine its assumptions about the Affordable Care Act and about this being a Republican year.  

This is a base and genuine turnout issue for Republicans, but public judgment about the new law is dynamic and moving and could come to haunt the Republicans. Support for the law is rising, particularly among Democrats and minority voters.  Only a minority is opposed because this is big government and only a minority wants to repeal the law.

But to counter Republican intensity and turnout in this off-year, Democrats will have to feel just as strongly about the risks of repeal and the loss of benefits. In this poll, we find that a message on the really positive changes that would be lost if the law were repealed gets attention with these off-year voters – who do respond with heightened intensity. With more than 7.1 million successfully signing up through exchanges, voters could be at a tipping point – and Democrats need to making the right case.

That could impact turnout on the Democratic side and should prompt the political class to re-consider many of the dominant assumptions about the ACA and the 2014 election.

Key Findings

  • Just 44 percent now clearly oppose the Affordable Care Act because it goes too far.  By a 9-point margin (54 percent to 44 percent) voters support the ACA or wish it went further. 


  • Democratic base voters had displayed some ambivalence about the law—but because they worry that it does not go far enough.  Support is very high with the Rising American Electorate, probably the greatest beneficiaries of the law – but enthusiasm is a little tempered by uncertainty and a preference for changes that would have reduced the role of private insurance companies. As the law’s benefits become more visible, these voters may become more engaged to defend the reforms at the ballot box.


  • By significant margins, likely 2014 voters want the law implemented and fixed rather than repealed and replaced.   By a 9-point margin (53 percent to 44 percent), likely voters say implement the law rather than repeal it. These margins are much bigger among Democratic base voters—especially minorities, but including young people—who have been central to the public debate about the law’s successes and failures.


  • Most importantly, a Democratic message saying the law needs fixes but makes critical changes and offers major benefits bests the Republican message crafted by Resurgent Republic – the conservative counter-part to Democracy Corps. Likely voters choose this Democratic Affordable Care Act message over the Republican offer by 5 points. Critically, the Rising American Electorate favor Democrats’ message in this debate by 22 points, and do so with real intensity (half say they strongly favor this message over the Republican alternative).


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