Thanks for reading our newsletter. This issue features timely pieces from two of our Senior Strategists at WPA Intelligence. Conor Maguire outlines how impeaching President Trump is set to boomerang on Democrats, particularly in the House districts they won in 2018. Amanda Iovino takes a look at health care and suburban women, the issue that fueled the 2018 takeover in terms of costs, not coverage.
– Michael D. Cohen, Ph.D., CSO, WPA Intelligence
Estimated read time: 10 minutes
Impeachment is a Gift
By Conor Maguire, Senior Strategist
It has been 1,127 days since Donald Trump was elected by the people as the 45th President of the United States of America… and Democrats still can’t believe it. Over the last three years, one month, and two days, Democrats have done nothing but fight this fact by doing everything to resist President Trump, continuously attacking his legitimacy and support of our county. Well, with the number of failed attacks on President Trump growing almost as fast as the economy, the chickens may be coming home to roost.
At WPAi, we are very focused on the 31 House Democrats sitting in districts that Trump carried in 2016, and they are poised to be the collateral damage of a near-sighted Democrat Party.
The Democrats’ push for impeachment promised bombshell interviews, facts beyond reasonable doubt, and a clear chain of evidence pointing directly to the self-serving misconduct by the President of the United States. But after all of the hearings, what’s left is nothing of the sort. It turns out that boring, convoluted, and partisan hearings on the extremely esoteric topic of geopolitics is not a way to win over voters and the proof is in the pudding.
Support for an impeachment inquiry peaked in early October, with 52% overall, according to the aggregation of public polls on Real Clear Politics. Today, support for impeachment is down to 48% and the difference with those who oppose is narrowing. Even more interesting is what’s going on with Independents. At the end of October, one outlier poll from IBD/TIPP had support for impeachment at 64%. Today, the RCP average has it at 45%, under the overall average by three points. Bottom line, after all of the hearings, a majority of the American people do not support impeaching President Trump.
Credit: Real Clear Politics
Let’s look at those who will have to take the vote soon. Many 2018 House races (especially in Trump 2016 districts) were won by tiny margins among relatively small numbers of persuadable voters. Newly elected House members who won in a Trump district – including Ben McAdams (UT-04), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), and Kendra Horn (OK-05) – are all targets in non-Presidential states, but could feel the blowback from a myopic, politically driven Democrat impeachment push. Trump won the Brindisi seat by 15%, Horn’s by 13%, and McAdams by seven percent. While Trump won Sherrill’s by only one percent, she was lambasted by her constituents in a town hall over the Thanksgiving break, as reported by Politico. The message: vote for impeachment at your peril.
Republicans running in similar districts can hold their Democrat opponent’s feet to the fire no matter how it turns out. With extremely important projects and agreements, like USMCA, being held up by continued attacks on the President, data shows that constituents are open to switch back to voting for Republicans. Even the New York Times highlights this in a recent article where polling indicates that two-thirds of battleground state voters who voted for Trump in 2016, then a Democrat for House in 2018, will be once again be voting for Donald Trump. Voters want to their government to accomplish the basic job it is hired to do, and Republicans should remind voters of this throughout the next year. A Christmas impeachment may end up being a gift… for President Trump and the GOP.
Swing Women – Still Swinging: Health Care Costs
By Amanda Iovino, Senior Client Strategist
While the media blames President Trump, swing women have been a voting bloc equal parts vital and confusing for Republican campaigns for years.
Women voters in the suburbs are concerned about the President and the tone of his Twitter account, but they are also concerned about the same policy issues that campaigns have been talking about for decades. What has happened over the last few election cycles is that, while Republican messaging has stayed roughly the same, the way swing women have been thinking about these issues has changed.
Pocketbook Issues used to mean taxes. “Getting to keep more of your money in your own pocket” has been (and remains) a solid talking point for Republican candidates. However, over the last several years, Republicans – especially in the states – have done such a good job lowering taxes and fees that the issue is not as top-of-mind to voters as it was in 2010.
Instead, health care costs are the main drain on voters’ pocketbooks. Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and prescription drug costs all eat away at any marginal increase in a family’s budget.
Tax cut savings? Went to pay their deductible when their kid broke his leg. Wage gains thanks to a growing economy? Those have been countered by higher premium costs being deducted from their paychecks.
Earlier this fall, 77% of women told National Geographic/Ipsos that health care costs were a “big problem” in society with another 18% calling costs a “moderate problem” making it the top issue among all women across the country.
Credit: National Geographic/Ipsos
Republicans cannot afford to not talk about health care this cycle, and neither can swing women. They are at a financial breaking point. Not talking about health care as a pocketbook issue is undercutting Republicans’ economic messaging more broadly and makes us appear out of touch with the day-to-day lives of voters.
But knowing how to talk with swing women about health care costs in an authentic and resonant way requires putting data behind the messaging. Using our decades of polling expertise and signature MessageMap technology, WPAi can help develop the messages that will move swing voters back to the Right.
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