Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
- Democrats are acutely worried about abortion, extremist Republicans, and political division.
- Some see economic improvements, while others feel pessimistic.
- Discussing the “middle class” further reveals pessimism about economic inequality.
- Democrats see their own party as looking out for “regular people,” while Republicans look out for the wealthy.
- But knowledge of Democrats’ economic policies is extremely limited.
On October 20, 2022, GBAO conducted three focus groups online with Democratic and Independent voters who varied across demographics—age, education, and race.
Democrats Generally Unhappy About The Direction Of The Country; Concerns About Division, Abortion Rights, And Extremist Republicans
There Is Some Limited Optimism About The Economy “Improving” Or A Sign Of “Biden Having Some Good Ideas”
Many Feel Younger People Have It Harder Now Than Their Own Or Their Parents’ Generations
Most Use Personal Indicators Rather Than Macro Ones To Determine How The Economy Is Doing
Democrats See Their Party As Focused On Investing In Everyone, Particularly “Regular,” “Average” People
The Democratic Approach Is Like “A Dog” – Loyal, Caring; The Republican Approach Is Compared To A “Snake,” “Vulture,” Or “Pig”
However, Few Democrats Can Describe Legislative Victories Like The Inflation Reduction Act, And Next To No One Can Name Its Components
Inflation Reduction Act Components
People Are Surprised And Like The Inflation Reduction Act; Even If Some Don’t See Themselves Reflected In The Programs, They Assume The Economy Will Benefit
Democrats Also See The Republican Approach As Looking Out For The Wealthy
The Middle Class Is Not An Income Definition, But A Sign One Can Afford The Basics Plus Some Extras
Now, People See Middle Class As No Longer Able To Afford These Things, Spurring A Discussion About The Phrase Itself
“Working Class” Sounds Like A Job Category, Like Blue Collar Or Service Jobs, But For Others, It’s Interchangeable With “Middle Class”
Unprompted, Many Cite Corporate Greed As Driving Economic Challenges And Inequality
“Middle-Rigged” Message Mostly Positive And Democratic; However, Some Wonder If It Unfairly Excludes Some Groups
There Is Clear Support For Student Loan Forgiveness, Even Among Those Who Paid Off Their Loans And Wish They Had The Benefit
Despite These Results, More Were Motivated To Stop Republicans Than Because Of Excitement About Democrats’ Agenda