8 messaging tips for embattled Democrats

8 messaging tips for embattled Democrats

1. Forget the big picture, macro policy stuff. No one except committed strong Democrats (who are already voting for you) believe the Democrats are competent enough to handle running the economy or foreign policy. The strongest suit the Democrats have among critical swing voters, like most voters generally, is who they are for—regular working and middle income people—not how skilled and capable they are in governing.

2. Frame every issue you can in class-related, “who-benefits” terms. As of last week, undecided voters think the Republicans can “manage the economy” better than the Democrats by an 11-point margin when questioned in strictly competence terms, but they reverse field and give the Democrats a 10-point margin when the question is put in terms of the class-related frame of which party is best in “handling the economy in a way that better helps ordinary working families?” Democratic candidates give up roughly 20 points (in voter believability) to the Republicans every time they don’t use this framing. Period.

3. Democrats also benefit when we frame the issue in “micro” rather than macro terms. Thus, Democrats repeatedly get the nod by substantial margins (70+ percent) when swing voters are asked which party “is more likely to be on the side of your spouse and children on issues affecting members of your family at the workplace.” This is a frame with a strong pro-Democratic valence, but because the Democrats have not understood its power, it is rarely used.

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