The old newsroom maxim, “If it bleeds, it leads,” still proves to be true in today’s 24-hour news cycle, but it’s no longer just cable news deploying that strategy. An analysis of the midterm election shows it’s especially true of Republican candidates who leaned heavily into advertising focused on crime while glossing over voters’ top issue of inflation and the economy. This was even more evident in federal races where little can be done about the degradation of crime and public safety in mostly Democrat-run cities.
The goal of any campaign should be to find the issues where candidates have strength over their opponents and where there are enough undecided voters to win over. At the same time, just because a party is trusted on an issue doesn’t mean that’s where they should fish for votes. This hyperfocus on a lower-tier issue – crime – over the top-tier issue – inflation and the economy – costs Republicans in 2022.
The 2024 election is cycle is already in full swing, and many declared Republican candidates, especially in the GOP presidential primary field, remain focused on slamming Democrats for an inarguably dismal performance on law and order. Yet, this is to the detriment of their greatest strengths. Even Republicans playing supporting roles this campaign season are harping on crime more than their economic agenda.
In fact, of all the key issues polled in our most recent national survey, crime and public safety ranked 7th. For Republican voters, the top issue was inflation and the economy closely followed by illegal immigration with national security coming in a distant third place. If Republicans care more about the economy than crime, and Independents care more about inflation than public safety, why do Republicans – especially those running for U.S. House and Senate seats – continue to spend so much time talking about a low-tier issue?
Read the full article by Cygnal President Brent Buchanan on Daily Caller: https://dailycaller.com/2023/06/23/buchanan-voters-are-clearly-telling-republicans-how-to-win-them-over