The Change Campaign That Can Contest America

A report on a new baseline battleground web-survey.

President Biden trails Donald Trump by 5 points in the battleground states and loses at least another point when we include the independent candidates who get 17 percent of the vote. Biden is trying to win these states where three quarters believe country is on the wrong track and 48 percent say, “I will never vote for Biden.” 

Can the President get back to win these voters and states? I believe the answer is yes, though not if you think next year’s partisan polarization, the abortion issue and the risk of a Trump presidency will bring them home. That is a dangerous strategy when the base of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, LGBTQ+ community, Gen Z, millennials, unmarried and college women give Trump higher approval ratings than Biden.

The Democrats enter the election year in a more competitive position than the Biden-Trump contest. These very same voters are putting Democrats even in the congressional battleground seats and 2 points ahead in the likely electorate. The Senate races too are competitive, despite how Republican are some states.

The starting point is all Democratic campaigns understanding why these voters are so angry and disappointed and building a focused strategy from there. 

The most important starting point is recognizing that 76 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. They desperately want to change. Dwelling on how much you have accomplished turns off these voters.

President Biden and the Democrats, this polls shows, can make major gains in this daunting election year. They need to talk only about the rising prices and the help Democrats are providing (reduced drug costs and the monthly Child Tax Credit). Then, they need to show who they are fighting for. The strongest narrative tested in the poll is Biden shifting economic power away from the big corporations to workers. The most popular policy is raising their taxes.

This survey finishes with a powerful message that is received positively with a 12–point margin. It builds on what Biden and Democrats have. But most importantly, it creates a future choice as Democrats help with family costs, protecting Social Security, the right to an abortion and create American jobs. It attacks Republicans for blocking help, threatening Social Security, and siding with the biggest corporations. 

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