Responding to GOPs Red Meat by Brad Chism

By at September 18, 2014 | 2:36 pm | Print

Responding to GOPs Red Meat by Brad Chism

Brad Chism

We continue our analysis of the Pew Trust’s 2014 Political Typology report that segments the electorate into eight different clusters rather than the standard  three groups of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

Only about 17% of the electorate are reliably liberal voters and a winning midterm coalition must include additional swaths of three left leaning groups: the Next Generation Left (13% of voters) who are generally liberal on social issues but with reservations about the cost of social programs and less likely to bash Wall Street; the Faith and Family Left (16% of voters) who express confidence in government and support for federal programs but are more religious and  uncomfortable with the pace of societal change; and the Hard-Pressed Skeptics (13% of voters) who endorse government social safety net spending but are generally skeptical of government and downright resentful of big business.

This fall the GOP will flood the airwaves and stuff mail boxes with their Holy Trinity of Attacks: Obamacare, Guns and Immigration. The chart below shows the net (un)favorability ratings for each of these issues by target voter cluster.

Progressives would be wise to understand how a sloppy response to this Republican Red Meat messaging can lead to suppression of turnout and even defection of some potential supporters.  Our digital, direct mail and phone universe targeting must be well defined when addressing these issues.   For example, a message castigating the GOP for no action on the  current Mexican border crisis that targets blue collar whites who voted for President Obama 2012 would be a costly mistake.

Similarly, a wholesale defense of the Affordable Care Act to these very different clusters of likely Democrats would be a mistake—the younger, urban and college educated Next Generation Leftie who may not even have signed up for Obamacare is much more likely to endorse it than these other clusters who stand to benefit from the federal subsidies that are part of the coverage.

To be sure, successful messaging this fall will be segmented.  If you’d like a more detailed discussion of the eight political typologies, see Pew’s 2014 Political Typology Report. And as always, we invite you to join our voter research conversation on Twitter @ChismStrat.

Brad Chism, President and Founder, Chism Strategies, America’s leading direct voter contact firm. Innovators, grounded in the best social science research, with decades of experience in the field of mobilizing voters and changing public opinion.

Chism Strategies  P O Box 15870  Washington DC  20003 (202) 430-5963
2906 North State Street  Suite 302   Jackson  MS  39216   (601) 982-0231

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