WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a recent survey of over 1,800 likely voters — Democrats, Republicans and independents — in battleground states, Priorities and Data for Progress found that the policy achievements that were most likely to convince respondents to vote for a Democrat were all centered around Democrats’ actions to lower the cost of prescription drugs, cap the price of insulin, and expand ACA subsidies to make health care more affordable for Americans.
This data clearly demonstrates that Democrats can further expand their reach by emphasizing the sharp contrast on lowering health care and prescription drugs costs while Republicans continue to oppose these measures. After the devastating SCOTUS decision in Dobbs, voters are more tuned in to the chasm between Democrats delivering and Republicans rolling back fundamental rights to necessary health care. Democrats have a crucial opportunity to further engage voters and emphasize their consistently popular policy accomplishments on health care alongside their commitment to protecting abortion rights.
These findings are consistent with the policies that Priorities cited as extremely popular in October 2021. “When it comes to critical issues that Democrats should pass and run on in the 2022 midterm elections there is nothing more obvious than lowering drug prices and expanding Medicare,” said Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil.
The most recent survey from Priorities and DFP solidifies this point. Across all voters, the two messages that were most convincing to vote for Democrats addressed empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and capping the price of insulin at $35 per month — well over half of respondents had heard “a lot” or “some” about these policies. The third most convincing message detailed Democrats’ extension of ACA subsidies making health care more affordable but only 47% of respondents had heard anything about it, indicating that Democrats still have plenty of room to increase awareness of the health care policy wins they have delivered for the American people. Further communication on these key issues will be central to effective mobilization and persuasion campaigns.
Republicans are increasingly defenseless against attacks on their dismal record on health care, taxation and abortion. This has created an opening for Democrats to emphasize their people-first record on drug prices and health care costs while GOP candidates are scrambling to distance themselves from draconian restrictions on abortion after the Dobbs decision re-engaged many voters in political news. Contrary to historical precedent, Democrats are poised to set the terms of the political debate in the most crucial part of the election cycle — voters elected Democrats to pass their priorities, Democrats delivered while Republicans tried to stand in the way.
Priorities has consistently found over the last two years that a strong contrast between Democrats keeping their policy promises and Republicans’ blatant extremism would move battleground electorates to the left. Recent events have made these existing realities crystal clear to voters. These are not the midterms that many strategists thought they would be six months ago, Democrats increasingly have momentum on their side.
But we will only expand our reach and increase our vote share if Democrats move quickly to include health care and prescription drugs as a central part of their message, alongside highlighting the extreme Republican position on abortion.
“Priorities’ research this cycle has consistently shown that a strong contrast message highlighting Democratic accomplishments on lowering health care costs and making the wealthy pay their fair share will tip the electoral scales in our favor,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “Some pundits may be surprised by the current state of play, but Priorities has a strong mobilization and persuasion program that is already uplifting the trends that will help Democrats secure victory in November. As major Democratic accomplishments on health care and Republican extremism on issues like abortion come into sharper focus, voters are increasingly tuned in to the stark contrast between the two parties. Priorities is ready to give them the information they need to make their voices heard in November.”
Democrats have an opportunity to expand their messaging campaign on health care and ensure that voters know about these popular accomplishments.
This MaxDiff survey tested messages concerning 25 of Democrats’ top accomplishments. Priorities USA and Data For Progress surveyed 1800+ likely voters in AZ, GA, MI, NC, NH, NV, PA, and WI between 8/18 and 8/22.