Polling from Priorities USA and Data for Progress Reveals Messages on Taxes and Health Care Best Responses to McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’

September 23, 2022

A poll of likely voters from Priorities USA and Data for Progress reveals Democratic messaging on health care and taxes are the most convincing to vote for Democrats in response to the McCarthy plan and the agenda the House GOP has vowed to enact if they take power. 

The poll uses a ‘Maxdiff’ methodology and asks likely voters to rank which of 17 Democratic responses to House GOP priorities and the framework proposed in McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’ are most convincing. The top three testing messages all responded to Republicans’ extreme proposal to slash health care and other crucial benefits for millions of Americans. The most convincing messages include:

  • The top message detailed the Republican plan to cut Social Security and Medicare in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy, just like the GOP did in 2017. 
  • The second most convincing message focused on the GOP’s plan to gut the ACA and raise health care costs for working families
  • The third most convincing message focused on the GOP blocking future progress that would build on the accomplishments of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. 

These results are consistent with Priorities’ findings from August 2022 and October 2021 which showed that taxing the wealthy and expanding health care access are the most effective contrast messages for Democratic candidates

Additional findings from the polling show that the Republican plan for a national abortion ban is the third most convincing message among Democratic respondents and the fourth most convincing message among independents. While Republicans continue to double-down on their extreme position to ban abortion nationwide, large majorities of voters are rejecting these proposals. 

The poll also demonstrated that Republican respondents are skeptical of their party’s education platform. The GOP proposals to gut college affordability and defund public schools were the fourth and fifth most convincing message for Republican respondents to support a Democrat. 

“After a series of historic accomplishments, Democrats have momentum going into November. This plan will only remind voters why it is imperative that Democrats continue to control Congress and deliver for working families,” said Nick Ahamed, Deputy Executive Director of Priorities USA. “These findings show that voters will not be fooled by the GOP attempts to distract the electorate from their extremist views that hurt working families. Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’ is nothing but a promise to block progress, threaten democracy and shelter his wealthy donors.” 

From September 13 to 18, 2022, Data for Progress conducted a survey of 1,513 likely voters using web panel respondents from the following states: AZ, GA, MI, NC, NH, NV, PA, WI. The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters by age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±3 percentage points.