Democratic strategists found that Americans don’t like many of the policies that Democratic candidates are running on in 2018.
It appears that Democrats don’t have a messaging problem after all.
They have a policy problem, according to focus groups and internal polling conducted by Democratic strategists, reported on by Politico on Wednesday.
The article highlighted how Democrats have attempted to paint President Trump as unfit, ineffective, and “using the presidency to enrich himself, and that his campaign was in cahoots with Russia” in order to boost their chances in the upcoming midterm elections.
But, according to data compiled by private firms for Democratic campaign arms, none of these tactics are working.
“People do think he’s bringing about change, so it’s hard to say he hasn’t kept his promises,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told Politico, about how voters view Trump.
What might be even more problematic for Democrats is voters view Democratic proposals like free tuition and a $15 minimum wage “as empty promises, at best.”
According to Politico:
“Worse news, they worry: Many of the ideas party leaders have latched on to in an attempt to appeal to their lost voters — free college tuition, raising the minimum wage to $15, even Medicaid for all — test poorly among voters outside the base. The people in these polls and focus groups tend to see those proposals as empty promises, at best.”
On the topic of free college tuition, Politico reported:
“The call for free college tuition fosters both resentment at ivory tower elitism and regret from people who have degrees but are now buried under debt. Many voters see “free” as a lie — either they’ll end up paying for tuition some other way, or worse, they’ll be paying the tuition of someone else who’ll be getting a degree for free.”
“Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Gerstein Bocian Agne Strategies conducted online polling of 1,000 Democrats and 1,000 swing voters across 52 swing districts for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Their advice to candidates afterward: Drop the talk of free college. Instead, the firms urged Democrats to emphasize making college more affordable and reducing debt, as well as job skills training, according to an internal DCCC memo.”
As for Democrats’ push for a $15 minimum wage, it’s “as unpopular as it was when the Obama White House tried to make it Democrats’ rallying cry in the 2014 midterms.”
Politico reported that the in a memo circulated by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) they urge candidates to talk about a “living wage,” instead of pushing for a $15 minimum wage.
Politico goes on to report:
“On immigration and trade, voters remain largely aligned with Trump. Data show that voters believe that the economy is moving in the right direction and resent Democrats attacking its progress.”
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) told Politico that he isn’t sure the Democrats’ strategy of running against an unpopular president would work in 2018 like it did in 2006.
“I’m not sure it’s going to work now, because the middle class is clamoring for help. Just saying we’re not Trump isn’t going to help,” Israel told Politico.
It seems that Democrats need to do more than say Trump is bad if they want to be successful in the upcoming midterm elections.
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