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Not 2012 anymore: voters now think GOP cares about them
Plus: winners and losers at the second debate, differences between GOP voters and the general electorate, the meaning of special elections, polling the working class GOP, and new OpenAI features
No. 286 | September 29, 2023
Eli Yokley: Since Trump, Voters Have Become More Likely to See the GOP as Caring About Them (Morning Consult)
“The Republican Party’s improvement on who voters think cares about them came from across the board when considering voters’ race, education and income level, something that may matter even more than the Democratic Party’s advantage on the question of caring about poor Americans. Since 2016, the GOP has taken a lead over the Democratic Party on the question of caring about “people like me” among middle-income households, people without a college degree and white people, but has also cut its rival party’s advantage among voters of color — most notably Black voters.”
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“Now for the question you — and the candidates — have all been waiting for: Will any candidate gain or lose support as a result of the debate? We asked likely Republican primary voters (including both debate watchers and non-watchers) which candidate(s) they were considering voting for (respondents could choose multiple options) and compared the results to what they said before the debate. And … nothing really fundamentally changed about the race. The candidate who gained the most potential supporters was North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, but that fact mainly highlights how little change there was, because he increased only from 5 percent before the debate to 8 percent after it. No other candidate’s potential support moved by more than 3 percentage points. Despite skipping the debate, former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the race: 64 percent of likely Republican voters are at least considering voting for him.”
Monica Potts and Holly Fuong: The biggest differences between Republican primary voters and the general electorate (FiveThirtyEight)
“These demographic differences mean that the group of voters choosing the Republican candidate have a completely different history, worldview and peer group from the generally younger and more diverse voters that could head to the polls in the November elections. That can shape the candidates’ views on a number of issues, from immigration to the future of the environment.”
Lakshya Jain: Do Special Elections Mean Anything? (Split Ticket)
“Special elections are a noisy dataset, and a 5 point shift in a special election clearly doesn’t correspond to a 5 point swing in the national environment. But this is not the argument being made, and focusing on this strawman risks obscuring valuable data. The question is whether special election margins have directional value still in indicating what the environment is. Here, it seems that the answer is yes. The latter half of 2021 showed a real turn against Biden and Democrats, and the declining Democratic performances in specials were followed by a Democratic collapse in both Virginia and New Jersey. Similarly, the shift after Dobbs showed Republican gains stalling and reversing, as voters began reacting to a perceived overreach from a conservative Supreme Court.
This is why it is likely safe to conclude that regardless of your views on the built-in advantage Democrats enjoy in low-turnout special elections, there is some clear value that they provide in gauging the environment and how it changes over time. It is difficult to quantify exactly what environment a D+9 special election swing correlates to, but what we can probably infer is that it is significantly more Democratic than the one that gave consistent R+3 swings a year ago.”
📊 Public Opinion
Julia Menasce Horowitz and Isabel Goddard: Women and Political Leadership Ahead of the 2024 Election (Pew Research Center)
“For the most part, Americans don’t think a woman president would do better or worse than a man when it comes to key leadership traits or the handling of various policy areas.
At the same time, the public sees differences in the way men and women running for higher office are treated by the media. And many think women candidates are punished more than men for showing emotions and having young children at home, among other attributes.”
American Compass: The New Conservative Voter (American Compass)
“Most GOP voters emphasize a newer set of cultural challenges like transgender activism, woke corporations, and race-related indoctrination; most also select illegal immigration as a top challenge.”
Anne Case and Angus Deaton: Accounting for the widening mortality gap between American adults with and without a BA (Brookings Institute)
“The U.S. economy, as measured by conventional metrics such as growth in gross domestic product (GDP), has recently outperformed other advanced economies. But mortality data paint a different picture, according to ‘Accounting for the Widening Mortality Gap between American Adults with and without a BA.’
‘GDP may be doing great, but people are dying in increasing numbers, especially less-educated people,’ Anne Case, one of the authors, said in an interview with The Brookings Institution. ‘A lot of the increasing prosperity is going to the well-educated elites. It is not going to typical working people.’”