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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Take Messaging to America’s Front Porches

From Samnatha Lachman’s HuffPo post “Here’s How Progressives Plan To Beat Back The GOP Tide“:

“How do you encourage a discouraged electorate?” Karen Nussbaum, Working America’s executive director, asked at a press briefing last week…”It’s a matter of reaching these folks,” she said, explaining that the organization has set a goal of reaching 1.5 million households — or 2.5 million voters — by Nov. 4. The group plans to hold 25,000 face-to-face conversations with voters every week until then.
…As part of this effort, roughly 400 Working America canvassers will go door-to-door between now and Election Day to talk to voters, with instructions to steer the conversation away from disapproval of President Barack Obama toward more local economic issues. The group’s rationale is that while white, working-class males might remain agitated with Obama, they could nonetheless be persuaded on economic grounds to vote for Democrats in key races, like Mark Schauer, who is running against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), or Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Lachman quotes Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, “who surveyed 1,000 low-propensity Democratic voters in the group’s target states, such as those who did not vote in the 2010 midterms but voted in 2012 because Obama was on the ballot.”

In a memo for MoveOn summarizing the poll results, Lake listed a number of messages that motivated so-called “drop-off” voters, including: “Republicans will take away a woman’s right to choose and restrict access to birth control”; “Republicans will cut access to health care for 8 million people and let insurance companies refuse to cover people with preexisting conditions”; “Republicans will cut back workplace protections for women, denying them equal pay for equal work”; and “Republicans will cut funding for Head Start and K-12 education.” Voters were also swayed by the idea that their state could decide which party controls the Senate.

Meanwhile, AFL-CIO Political Director Michael Podhorzer says that his canvassers will be “talking with voters “about how they’re going to pay their gas bills or rent, how they’re going to get by,” they will understand how voting for a Republican incumbent will lead to more of the same…”This is about taking the election down from the cacophony on television to, ‘How are you going to make your mortgage payment?”
All good messages for 2014. But it’s about making it personal this time, not only with ad buys and other tools of the media arsenal, but with more up-close, face-to-face contact and the human touch.

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