GOP Challenges and Opportunities on the Issues Among Younger Voters

In the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey from February (conducted jointly by POS partner Bill McInturff and Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates), respondents were asked an extensive series of questions on what party does a better job of handling certain issues. Republicans came out ahead on issues where they are traditionally strong (national defense, government spending), but Democrats had the advantage on the majority of the issues tested.

Ranked by GOP Advantage

Issue GOP Dem D/S
Ensuring a strong national defense 45% 19% 26%
Controlling government spending 37% 21% 16%
Reducing the federal deficit 31% 25% 6%
Dealing with the economy 30% 32% -2%
Dealing with taxes 32% 35% -3%
Dealing with immigration 27% 33% -6%
Dealing with energy policy 26% 36% -10%
Dealing with Social Security 22% 36% -14%
Reducing gun violence 19% 34% -15%
Dealing with health care 25% 41% -16%
Dealing with Medicare 22% 40% -18%
Looking out for the middle-class 24% 46% -22%

In looking at this data, there are two things that jumped out immediately. First, the Republicans’ deficit on “looking out for the middle-class” is staggering. Any attempts at Republican re-branding must focus on closing that substantial gap.

Second (and more encouragingly), it is important to note that, despite media narratives to the contrary, immigration is not yet an issue on which Democrats have a stranglehold. With a Dem advantage of just six points, immigration, along with the economy, taxes, and the federal deficit, is an issue that is very much up for grabs.

The data among only younger (age 18-34) respondents is also important, and reveals some opportunities for Republicans with this key group, as well as some significant challenges.

Ranked by GOP Advantage – Data Among 18-34 Year Olds

Issue GOP Dem D/S
Ensuring a strong national defense 44% 20% 24%
Reducing the federal deficit 32% 22% 10%
Controlling government spending 36% 28% 8%
Dealing with taxes 36% 32% 4%
Dealing with the economy 31% 28% 3%
Dealing with Social Security 23% 30% -7%
Reducing gun violence 22% 32% -10%
Dealing with immigration 27% 38% -11%
Dealing with health care 28% 41% -13%
Looking out for the middle-class 26% 44% -18%
Dealing with Medicare 22% 41% -19%
Dealing with energy policy 19% 43% -24%

Despite Republicans’ well-chronicled struggles with younger voters, the GOP actually has the advantage on more issues with younger voters (five) than with the population as a whole (three). Among younger voters, Republicans have small leads on taxes and the economy and continue to lead on the federal deficit and government spending. Clearly, when it comes to fiscal issues, younger voters prefer the Republican Party.

Republican issue challenges with younger voters are, to be blunt, everything else. The smallest Democrat advantage on the remaining issues is 7%, and they lead by double digits on the other six issues.

Dealing with energy policy is an especially tough issue for Republicans with younger voters, as Dems lead on that issue by 24 points, compared to ten points with the overall sample. Republican problems with the middle class also persist with younger voters, as Dems have an 18 point advantage on that issue.

The data with the overall sample as well as with younger respondents makes it clear that while the Republican messaging on fiscal issues has some traction, the party’s re-branding effort needs to also focus on issues such as energy policy, health care, and, most importantly, reaching out to the middle-class.

Similar Articles

  • Impeachment Fever Has Hit House Democrats
    read more

  • Public Opinion Strategies Congratulates Karen Handel on Winning GA-06
    read more

  • The Democrats’ Pivot
    read more

  • ARE AMERICANS “OVER” PRESIDENT OBAMA?
    read more

  • POS IN THE NEWS – DECEMBER 13, 2013
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com