Swing district poll suggests that progressive policies could deliver a 2018 “blue tsunami”

Filed in National by on March 22, 2018

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake surveyed 600 likely voters in 30 “swing” districts (districts that are considered too close to call in the 2018 midterms), along with 300 “surge” voters (who are less likely to turn out for the 2018 midterms), and found that a platform that advances policies like “Medicare for all,” cheaper prescription drugs, and cracking down on Wall Street would deliver these swing districts for the Democrats.

These are the policies that the Warren/Sanders wing of the party advocates, and the policies that the Dem establishment (whose go-to donors would suffer under these policies) insist are unwinnable nonstarters.

A majority of the voters surveyed preferred a bold economic vision, as opposed to an incremental approach. When asked, 52 percent said they prefer “a bold and comprehensive agenda to rewrite the rules of the economy,” compared to the 36 percent of voters who would choose to “make our economy work for everyone by building on the success of the past.”

Another takeaway from the memo, Jayapal said, is that talking about race is not something Democrats “should shy away from.” Support for a policy to “improve opportunity for working and low-income families — white, black, and brown — by investing $2 trillion in rebuilding our roads, bridges, schools, and communities, while creating millions of good-paying jobs” had more support among likely voters than the phrasing of the policy that did not include race.

Progressive candidates that win elections are seen as a niche group that “somehow managed to beat the odds,” despite polls showing that progressive policies are actually mainstream values to voters across the country, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., said.

Polling Shows Running on Progressive Policies Would Work in Swing Districts [Aída Chávez/The Intercept]


Taken in full from BoingBoing because I liked it.

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (18)

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  1. Dave says:

    “Suggests” is a well chosen word. It was a progressive polling outfit, working for The Hub Project (a progressive outfit). Lake Research used 600 likely 2018 voters in targeted swing districts, but included an additional oversample of 300 Democratic-leaning surge voters, who don’t have a history of voting and are less certain to vote in 2018.

    All in all, it’s a feel good poll about what people want, thus justifying their advocacy. I am not suggesting the poll was incorrect or that the people don’t want more progressive policies. What I am suggesting is that it was led and structured in a manner that predefined the answer.

    If I were a Democratic Party candidate in those districts I would take note of the general malaise regarding the direction of the country, but I would still hew to moderate policies.

    And by the way, I consider reducing the price of prescription drugs, infrastructure investment, and Wall Street regulation to be relatively moderate positions. Maybe I just don’t know the definition of “progressive.”

  2. Jason330 says:

    You would lose to an actual Republican. Democrats trying to sound like discount store Republicans always lose to actual Republicans. I thought we all knew that by now.

  3. Paul says:

    The Clintons high-jacked the Democratic Party. When? ’92. Maybe that is the high-jacking we should be “cleaning with sunlight” now. Progressive values have been championed by Democrats from 1945 until 1992, when the Clintons “captured” the Democratic Party and moved it to right of center. Absent Bill’s charm, Dems can’t run center right and win.

  4. jason330 says:

    Clearly. But Professional Democrats and DC based consultants can sure shove money into their pockets while we lose winable race after race.

  5. Alby says:

    All Dave pointed out was that it’s a single poll, designed to produce the result it did. Its eager acceptance as received truth in certain quarters says more about the wishes of those people who received it that way that it does about the wisdom of the strategy.

    I, for one, don’t want corporate Democrats to pretend to be populists, because they’ll be bad at it. I have pointed this out before, but many, many Democrats in power — Chris Coons, for one; Kirsten Gillibrand, for another; Hillary Clinton, for a third — started out as Young Republicans. We should be not even a tiny bit surprised that they aren’t progressives from an economic-equity standpoint.

    Finally, and the real reason this is a silly exercise, voters don’t vote for policies, they vote for people.

    Republicans are going to lose in November in all the formerly Republican suburban districts with lots of college grads, like those surrounding Philadelphia, where the change already is underway. They will win those districts no matter what their candidates’ positions, which is why we should favor progressives over moderates in those primary races.

    From a Republican standpoint, Rick Saccone had all the right positions, but he’s a sad sack and a charisma-less candidate, so he narrowly lost even in a +20 Trump district. Except for single-issue voters (guns, abortion, etc.), people don’t really vote based on issues. They might think they do, but they don’t, which is why consultants can tell right away whether a candidate has what it takes.

  6. Dave says:

    “You would lose to an actual Republican.”

    Well perhaps, but then it’s a swing district. So by definition it can go either way. It stands to reason that a Republican or moderate D would have a difficult time in a progressive district. Besides, as I noted, Lipinski’s opponent, makes Trump look progressive. So there’s that.

  7. Jason330 says:

    What’s your point?

  8. Jason330 says:

    Alby, yes and no. Voters may not turn out for, “a platform that advances policies like “Medicare for all,” cheaper prescription drugs, and cracking down on Wall Street”

    But that message is one that activates the Dem base and creates a sense of momentum, and even fun. Voters don’t decide between candidates. they decide between going to vote, or staying home. The ‘team’ that has the most fun and momentum typically wins.

  9. Alby says:

    Really? John Kerry had all the fun on his side against Howard Dean?

    I’m not saying Democratic candidates shouldn’t take those positions. Of course they should. But a lot of the recruited candidates from around the country are veterans, because Democrats are still scared of sounding like peaceniks, and are not particularly progressive on economic justice issues. People will vote for them anyway for the simple reason that they’re not Republicans.

    People won’t vote against something that’s potentially bad, but they will vote against something that is actively bad.

  10. Jason330 says:

    I agree that the idea of going out to vote against Republicans is enough to get Dem voters to the polls this year.

    FTR – John Kerry was the beneficiary of a media lynching. That result is an outlier.

  11. Alby says:

    I meant he defeated Dean, and Dean was not only the better candidate, his people were having more fun.

    Dean, of course, was the victim of the worst media lynching of all time. He screamed once, and that disqualified him.

    The bar was set a lot higher back then. It seems like a century ago.

  12. Dave says:

    Most people are emotional voters – angry, scared, hopeful or happy. If they are happy, they want more of the same. If they are angry, they want something different. They don’t (and can’t) do the analysis necessary to determine what outcome is most likely to get them what they want. That’s why they vote against their own self-interest so often. They do it again and again because of cognitive dissonance. Which is why Trump is likely to be re-elected. Voters will double down on their previous choice, assigning blame to everyone but themselves for the poor outcome of their previous choice. I think most polls that do not include an emotional assessment are deficient because of that.

  13. Dave says:

    @Jason “What’s your point?”

    If that question was for me, my point is that whether I would lose to an actual Republican depends on what an actual Republican is. Was Rick Saccone an actual Republican? I don’t know what that means anymore. And honestly, I’m not sure what an actual Democrat is anymore. I don’t think those labels necessarily mean what they once did or maybe they never did.

  14. RE Vanella says:

    You should hang a shingle. Open a consulting shop. Your surname isn’t Axelrod by any chance?

  15. jason330 says:

    No I meant what’s the bigger point? Why do you trudge through your dreary life? What’s the end game for someone so beige? Fairy tale heaven? “Well done, good and bland servant?”

    I feel like i need more context.

  16. nathan arizona says:

    Geez, guys, I think Dave is saying something that left-progressives should like: Consider emotion when appealing to voters. Isn’t that what you’re trying to do, at least partly? And I’ve seen even recently on this blog the idea that the “democrat” and “republican” labels don’t mean much these days. Personally, I wish voters would try to make themselves at least a little bit informed on the issues.

  17. jason330 says:

    That’s a generous take.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Dave. The Hillary of this blog.