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Elections – top issues per party [Pew]

September 28, 2018

Quick link to a Pew poll on top issues per party. [via fivethirtyeight]

top 5 issues most likely to be considered very important.


  • health care
  • treatment of minorities
  • environment
  • supreme court
  • medicare


  • economy
  • terrorism
  • supreme court
  • guns/taxes/immigration (3way tie)

With Trump as such a starkly polarizing figure, most people have firmly made up their minds about which of the 2 parties they prefer. Elections in this environment are about getting out the vote.

Thus, the polling suggests Republican campaigns focus on positive economic statistics and tax cuts. Sadly, there is a basis in this poll for the usual right-wing fearmongering.

On the Democratic side, the above list suggests a focus on Republican threats to the supreme court, environment and minorities.

Then there’s Health Care, considered important by 88% of Democrats, the highest percentage for any single issue for either party.

This is where the Democratic message gets muddled, as they do their best to ignore what most potential Democratic voters want, and most first-world countries have, which is single payer.

Not that Republicans are offering any alternative, I understand that part of it. But why take your best get-out-the-vote card off the table?

The drama of the Kavanaugh sexual assault story could be a potent get-out-the-vote angle, especially for women. If it is perceived as a “Supreme Court” issue, it would motivate both parties, per the above list. Especially in the relatively conservative states which will determine control of the Senate. If it is perceived as a women’s rights issue, it may work more for Democrats by encouraging Democratic women to vote and discouraging Republican women from voting. We’ll probably know more on this in a week, as the parties ask pollsters to answer this question.


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