From “Biden’s economic messaging should ‘hit Trump’ and highlight his mistakes, data reveals: Biden can revive ailing poll numbers by reminding voters Trump was a threat to social security and cut taxes for the wealthy” by David Smith at The Guardian:
Joe Biden should sharpen his economic message by acknowledging voters’ pain and drawing a more direct contrast with Donald Trump to revive his ailing poll numbers, according to research presented to the White House and seen by the Guardian.
Surveys by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a grassroots organisation aligned with Senator Elizabeth Warren, found that voters trust Republicans over Democrats to handle the economy – but there are ways to close the gap by highlighting Trump’s past mistakes and threat to social security.
“We cannot just repeat over and over again that the economy is doing great and expect repetition to win us the trust of the public,” said Adam Green, cofounder of the PCCC, who has held meetings with top officials in the White House, House of Representatives and Senate Democratic leadership and senior political operatives around Washington.
Smith shares some well-crafted talking points, including:
America’s economy is performing well by most measures. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose at a 4.9% annual rate during the July to September quarter, defying predictions of a recession. Unemployment is at its lowest level for half a century and inflation has fallen to the lowest rate in any G7 country.
Commenting on recent polling, Smith adds,
National polling conducted by the PCCC and the Data for Progress thinktank from September to November rings further alarm bells going into Biden’s re-election campaign. Asked which party they trust more to handle the economy, 42% of likely voters say Republicans, 35% say Democrats and 20% say neither. But the research also found that message framing is crucial.
Just 24% of likely voters agree with the statement that “the economy is getting better for people like me”. But that share climbs to 43% when extra context is given such as: “We should not return to the chaos created by Trump. Our economy is beginning to turn a corner after a few tough years felt across the world. I trust Biden more than Trump to crack down on corporations that inflate the price of gas and food – and to fight for people like me.”
The survey found that a message that blames Trump for gutting funding for pandemic preparedness, which left America unprepared for Covid-19, still leaves Democrats with a deficit of 14 percentage points. But asserting that Trump mismanaged the economy by cutting taxes for billionaires and failing to fight back against corporate price gouging on gas and groceries cuts the gap to just four points.
The PCCC’s research shows that Democrats can drive a contrast over taxing the wealthy to boost social security. The statement “Billionaires and other wealthy Americans should have to pay social security taxes at the same rate as other Americans” has support from 79% of independent voters.
Furthermore, the assertion that “Democrats support increasing taxes on billionaires and support increasing funding for programs like social security” gives the party an 11-percentage point lead. While adding a second sentence – “Republicans are pushing to cut taxes on billionaires and are pushing to cut funding for programs like social security” – doubles the advantage to 22 percentage points.
Smith notes in his concluding paragraph that much of the public doesn’t seem to know abut the divergent policies of both parties on Social Security, and Democrats can benefit tremendously by exposing the difference.