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April 10, 2019

Trump promised a new trade policy....

By Stanley Greenberg. This article appeared on the Washington Post website on April 10, 2019. Donald Trump disrupted the 2016 election and won many...
January 24, 2019

First national poll shows...

Unsurprisingly, our first survey of 2019, conducted during the government shutdown, shows those saying the country is on the wrong track up sharply...
November 16, 2018

Democrats won big embracing strong...

Many vulnerable Republicans hoped that the GDP and jobs numbers and their signature legislative accomplishment, the tax cut, would persuade voters to...

Battleground Surveys
Unmarried Women in 2018
Monday, December 10 2018

Unmarried women comprised 23 percent of the national electorate and played a decisive role in the 2018 wave. Like other women, many unmarried women decided early to oppose what was happening in the country, but some decided in the Fall and as late as the final week to vote and to vote out the Republicans, especially in the Rust Belt where Democrats made such big gains. We know this story because of the web-panel that Democracy Corps conducted for WVWVAF thatinterviewed the same respondents four times in the 12 states with competitive statewide races.



Will Democrats be brave enough to get to the bluest wave?
Tuesday, September 25 2018

The most competitive battleground states are breaking against President Trump and the congressional Republicans, millennials are showing signs of life, disaffected Republicans are fracturing, and voters are angry about corrupt deals for wealthy corporate donors and self-dealing politicians. Something new and fundamental is happening, but will Democrats do what they must to win this election in a way that produces the biggest wave possible? If progressives crystalize the frustration with corruption into a powerful closing critique of out of touch Republicans, then they can push their advantage to its most politically destructive potential. This is according to the third wave of WVWVAF’s battleground research program conducted by Democracy Corps in 12 states with competitive races for governor, including 10 competitive Senate races and 42 competitive Cook congressional races.





Trump & GOP Strategy Make Blue Wave More Likely
Friday, July 13 2018

Pundits built a new conventional wisdom that included higher job approval ratings for President Donald Trump due to the tax cuts and strong economy that could shrink the enthusiasm advantage and midterm vote for Democrats. But they are wrong about the political trends, the economy, and what motivates Democrats. They miss how the GOP strategy branded Trump and the GOP as only out for themselves and the rich. This is according to the second of three waves of WVWVAF’s battleground research program conducted by Democracy Corps. This program consists of phone polling among registered voters and an on-going web-panel of 1,813 target voters – the Rising American Electorate of minorities, millennials, and unmarried women, plus white working class women – in 12 states with competitive races for governor, Senate, and Congress, including 42 Cook competitive seats. The same web-panel respondents were interviewed in April and late June, so these reported trends we know to be true.



New Message Platform for 2018’s Key Battlegrounds: report from phone survey & web-panel in the 12-state battleground
Thursday, May 03 2018

Democrats sit at the edge of a landslide repudiation of President Trump and Republicans – in the Congress and states where they govern – in November. This is according to the first of three waves of a phone survey (conducted mostly on cell-phones) of registered voters and a coordinated on-going web-panel of more than 3,100 target voters in 12 states that include 12 Governor races, 10 Senate races, and 18 races in DCCC battleground districts. This suite of research provides clear guidance for progressive domination in these battlegrounds: take away the GOP’s presumed strengths – the state of the macro-economy and the new Republican tax cut – and make the most of their weaknesses on key issues that go to the heart of the case against Republican Trump-ism.

  • First, Democrats must appeal to the large majority of voters struggling with wages that don’t keep up with rising costs, particularly the cost of health care. Trump and the Republicans promised to reduce these costs but supported policies with the opposite effect. 
  • Second, they should embrace an evolved economic message that insists on better from politicians than the short-term spending spree for the top one percent that endangers Social Security and Medicare and the short-sighted cuts to education and health care. (It is notable that this new message out-performed the “rigged” economic message that performed best up until now).
  • Third, they should join the students of Parkland and attack Republicans for failing to act on gun control, which has become a top voting issue, particularly for millennials.  

African Americans are already performing higher on turnout measures in this poll, but this message framework and the attacks on health care costs and gun-control significantly increase the number of high turnout voters among Hispanics, millennials and unmarried women as well.

Focus groups find early breakthrough moment in off-years
Thursday, April 13 2017
Download this file (Dcor_March FG_Press Teaser_4.11.2017_FOR DISTRIBUTION.pdf)Key Findings[ ]254 Kb114 Downloads
Download this file (Dcor_WV_March FG_Full Public Memo_4.13.2017_FINAL.pdf)Full Report[ ]623 Kb110 Downloads

America has been roiled by the election of Donald Trump and total Republican control of the federal government. Will it be roiled again by a wave election in the coming off-year elections? That would require engaged and consolidated anti-Trump voters, demoralized Trump supporters and independent voters reacting against Trump and Republican overreach. On behalf of Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF), Democracy Corps went to the battleground states of Virginia and Ohio to speak to African American, white millennial and younger unmarried women and white older unmarried and working class women – the working women who will play a critical role in determining whether Democrats make a comeback in the coming off-year elections.[1] Each of these groups disappointed Democrats to varying degrees in terms of vote and/or turnout in past off-years and in 2016, but our findings in these focus groups give us confidence that a dramatically better performance, even a wave, is possible.

  • The Trump voters among these women are not yet regretting their vote, but the defeat of the Trump-Ryan health care replacement was demoralizing and opened their eyes. For the first time, Trump voters do not push back when presented with critical new information. They accept the CBO findings about the Trump-Ryan health care bill and are disturbed it would not lower costs as promised and would hurt seniors and the disabled. They accept an attack on Trump’s budget because it mentions of one of his signature priorities – the wall. They strongly oppose the wall, especially when paid for by cutting Meals on Wheels and after-school programs that make a difference in their communities. 
  • Exposure to information about the Trump-Ryan health care replacement and Trump’s radical budget priorities lead the women in these groups – the Trump voters included – to express a potentially disruptive new doubt about Trump: that he is too rich and far removed from ordinary struggles to see the harm his policies would do. This is the context in which Trump’s wealth and temperament matter to his voters.
  • The women who oppose Trump in these groups are already leaning into the upcoming off-year elections and are energized by the resistance to the Trump presidency. Many of these focus group participants – especially the more Democratic-leaning African American and millennial women–would typically drop off in a midterm election. Their early engagement and intense opposition to Trump suggest a greater level of participation is possible in the upcoming off-year elections.  

So, only two months into this new administration, we are confident that Democrats can communicate messages that engage anti-Trump voters and that begin to erode the confidence of Trump voters in both Trump and Republicans. Democrats should not let up on their attacks on the Trump-Ryan health care alternative – specifically how it would make health care even more unaffordable and actually raises costs for seniors and the disabled. They should let everyone know of his main budget priorities: his wall paid for by cutting funding for Meals on Wheels and after-school programs and cancer research. 

Read the key findings.

Read the full report.

[1]  On behalf of WVWVAF, Democracy Corps conducted six focus groups among working women March 23, 27-28 in Ohio and Virginia: white unmarried women over 45 and white non-college women in Akron, OH; white unmarried women under 45 and white millennial women in Cleveland, OH; African American women and white non-college women in Richmond, VA. Each group had a representative mix of Clinton (anti-Trump) and Trump voters.

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