On this episode of the Pulse Pod, Brent and Chris are joined by Cygnal’s experienced pollster and VP Brock McCleary to discuss the upcoming elections and touching on some major issues, including the current political environment (which is favorable towards Republicans), consequences of COVID policies, and shifting demographic trends.
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- The current political map is leaning in favor of Republicans, in which Independent voters are currently trending towards their party, (2 to 1 in many purple districts). It’s hard to think that this tendency can be reversed in a mid-term cycle, given that issues such as inflation, ongoing labor shortages, and summer travel (with its effect on gas prices) won’t allow the overall economics to improve. Actually, voters expect it to get worse.
- It looks like Democrats have come sort of myopic in their view of what is important – It’s hard to find any evidence in the past that shows that Democrats in Congress have done anything solid to cope with the things that matter the most (cost of living, inflation, crime, education, etc.). Even more, Democrats do not dominate the less important issues, continuing to talk about things voters actually don’t care that much.
- Even though COVID restrictions continue to be a partisan issue, the policies have set in motion a mental health crisis among children that both parties are just beginning to understand. Seeing generations of children going through the outcomes that will be associated with this mental health crisis may be the biggest social challenge ahead, in which bringing back some normalcy to the life of the children should be the highest priority. Furthermore, Democrats have lost some substantial credibility among their most reliable age range which is younger voters, mostly due to how the overall pandemic was handled.
- There seems to be a significant divide in the belief of the role of government when it comes to educational attainment. Working class voters have realized that government is more of a detriment than it is a benefit, and strongly believe that freedom and individual choice is the role of the person, not the role of government. Moreover, working class individuals, as well as those with a lower educational attainment, are more self-sufficient, and this group is mostly made up of business owners that feel are better off without the government.
- There’s a large group of Americans who do not have a degree, but they don’t show up enough to vote. Turning them into a permanent majority may be Republican’s next big challenge.
- When it comes to driving Independent voter’s choice, being on topic is essential. Touching on economics, inflation, cost of living, and education is a strong part of the equation. Also, establishing causation between recent political measures taken by Democrats (i.e. money printing at unprecedented rates) and current issues (i.e. inflation) can help close the deal.
- Likeability is key. Regardless of how much you address the main topics most people care about, you have to give voters something to like about your candidate and something they can relate themselves with.