While surveys and focus groups show voters’ biggest worries are inflation and crime, many of the most susceptible House Democrats emphasized other problems, early in their candidacies.
Priorities Not Set Right
Young partisan Democratic voters voiced “a strong concern with inflation and crime” and anger that Democratic lawmakers had not fulfilled their promises, according to focus group results posted Tuesday by Politico.
Three top takeaways from Dem focus groups of reliably D African-American and young voters:
— preoccupation with inflation and crime.
— Exhaustion with pandemic restrictions.
— Cynicism about politics.
(via @politico) https://t.co/Hhilq7QBHE
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 5, 2022
The results come amid polls showing voters prioritizing higher prices and public safety, ahead of a bruising campaign season for Democrats.
Voters in Virginia are very concerned about how their kids are taught in school and how much they can control what they learn there.
Many of the House Democrats in peril may not have altered their priorities to reflect their voters’ changing priorities, according to their campaign websites.
Then, there was COVID-19 and liberal social issues.
It is barely seven months until the midterm elections. Most House Democrats have yet to deliver campaign speeches or cut ads defining which issues they will concentrate on.
Nevertheless, their campaign web pages reveal their current priorities.
Democrats are already experiencing a popular notion that, as a party, they staked out stances on the wrong side of almost every issue.
On crime, they’ve weakened prosecutors and cops. In education, they’ve put teachers’ unions and school boards’ demands ahead of parents.
The Democrats demanded higher taxation when many people criticize taxation for rising costs. In terms of energy, they have prioritized environmental considerations over meeting domestic demand.
Few susceptible House Democrats have yet to oppose the dominant Democratic agenda seriously.
However, some Democrats in battleground areas do not prioritize crime or inflation.
Democrats are afraid voters will blame them for high gas prices at the polls this fall. Their remedy: blame oil companies. My report: https://t.co/dtQKsPYjAP
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 6, 2022
For instance, on her campaign site’s “issues” page, Rep. Cynthia Axne, a vulnerable Democrat from Des Moines, does not prioritize crime or public safety.
Neither do Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s 14 “priorities” problems.
Criminal justice or public safety aren’t among the 14 issues listed on Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin’s campaign website. Her priorities are healthcare, the environment, and vets.
The “economic prosperity” portion of Rep. Susan Wild’s campaign website’s “issues” page does not include inflation.
Instead, she wants to strengthen unions, train employees, invest in infrastructure, and expand rural internet access.
Wild does not name crime or public safety as a major priority, but she does have a “criminal justice” section that addresses, among other things, “racial bias” in the police.
She also thinks convicts should be able to vote again and drugs should be treated as a public health issue.
On his campaign site, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright does not mention crime or public safety.
He admits “healthcare, education, and childcare” prices have grown, but argued that infrastructure improvements are the answer.
In the “education” area, he supports raising teacher wages and improving schools, but not increasing parental rights.