The following memo by Page Gardner of Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Research and Nancy Zdunkewicz of Democracy Corps, is cross-posted from Democracy Corps:
Democrats sit at the edge of a landslide repudiation of President Trump and Republicans – in the Congress and states where they govern in November. Though their momentum has stalled in the last few months, Democrats have important opportunities with minorities, millennials, and unmarried women, and, to some extent, white working class women, that will allow them to increase the number of competitive races and dominate in many battlegrounds in 2018. 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 progressives to get on the winning track.1
Democratic victories in 2017 and 2018 were the result of differential turnout and strong perfor- mance across base and swing groups. Compared to 2016, there is a greater belief that the results of elections matter. But in the past few months, Democrats have appeared less focused on the economic and health care battles that most engage anti-Trump voters; at the same time, Republican base voters, especially white working class men, could finally point to a signature conservative policy achievement in the new tax cut law, where before they were grasping for news to justify their vote. This new research shows an evolved message as well as attacks on Trump and Republicans that allow Democrats to reclaim their footing.
The advice is straightforward: take away the GOP’s presumed strengths – the state of the macroeconomy 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.