According to a study published by the left-leaning think tank, if the Democrats want to gain seats in the 2018 midterm elections, they are going to have to adopt a jobs platform that helped a man they detest achieve the ultimate political victory. His name is, of course, Donald Trump.
That was the conclusion reached by the group Third Way after surveying “persuadable” voters who either didn’t vote in 2016 or voted for Trump.
“Americans don’t see Democrats as the party of jobs. This wasn’t always the case, but today it’s undeniable — and unsustainable if the Party’s going to recover from its historic electoral hole,” the report begins.
It goes on to emphasize that blacks, Latino, and millennial voters could be talked into voting Democratic as long as the party pursues a strong agenda centered on creating more jobs.
Trump famously declared on the campaign trail that he would be the “greatest jobs president God ever created.” In fact, Trump’s jobs messaging was pervasive through his entire political platform, according to an archived version of the president’s campaign website saved in October 2016.
The promise to build “to build a great, great wall on our southern border” also tied into the promise of jobs. Trump asserted that a benefit of curbing illegal immigration would be to restore jobs to American citizens currently usurped by illegals. Even his foreign policy platform spoke of seeking to protect jobs through the renegotiation of deals like NAFTA that allow for trade between multiple nations.
Despite the fact it would necessitate borrowing from Trump’s winning strategy — which to Democrats would be tantamount to kissing a pig — the think tank asserts that a central message about increasing jobs would the best strategy for winning against Republicans.
“Even as the economy approaches full employment, there remains a real economic anxiety, and people will always aspire to new and better job opportunities. Trump spoke to this — and voters responded,” the report emphasizes.
Although voters responded to that message, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the lead in voters who were worried about the economy. Fifty-two percent of Clinton voters asserted that the economy was the most important issue, compared to 41% with Trump voters who agreed.
“To rebuild the Party and regain the power to enact their priorities, Democrats need to craft a broad path that’s inclusive of a diverse coalition and sustainable across election cycles. Reclaiming its status as the party of jobs is a unifying way to do just that,” the report maintains.
The report also says that traditionally progressive ideals like free college tuition or a universal basic income are viewed negatively as “handouts” by the average voter, a resentment that is likely to turn off the persuadable voters identified in the report.
“Rallying around proposals like free college or universal basic income just exacerbate this resentment,” the report affirms. “Effective policy solutions to bolster economic security are vital, but they must begin with job creation and be tethered to the values of hard work and earning your way that underscore America’s economic compact.”
This report, by Phillip Stucky, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.