Predicting a Resignation, Producing a Message, and Portending a Party’s Demise

March 12, 2021 10:00am
Photo of Mary Mancini
Democratic National Committee Correspondent

DNC members are fairly evenly split on Governor Cuomo’s resignation, offer three alternatives on messaging, and overwhelmingly believe the Republican Party is too far gone.

“How to message,” “what to message,” and “who should deliver the message” are the three very different paths DNC members traveled down when answering the first question, “What is the most effective way to deliver this message of Republican inaction to the voters who need to hear it the most?”

You overwhelmingly believe the Republican Party is too far gone and will not recover from the extremism infecting its roots. According to you, Donald Trump broke it and now he owns it.

You’re fairly evenly split on Governor Cuomo’s resignation. A slightly larger number believe they have enough information to suggest he should resign now.

Lastly, stay tuned to future Power Polls as we’ll incorporate answers from this month’s final question, “If you want to ask your fellow DNC members a question in a future DNC Power Poll, please post it here.” You submitted some very good suggestions covering a wide-range of topics including rural voter contact, state party engagement, and the lopsided make-up of DNC standing committees.

Here are the specific questions and responses to the March DNC Power Poll:

“The Republican Party is still engulfed in a divisive civil war…” read a recent DNC news release, highlighting what many are thinking and wondering about the future of the Republican Party. Which statement best matches your belief about what the Republican Party will look like in two years?

The Republican Party will still be one party that is dominated by the Trump wing of the party and its far-right elements. It will be much like today’s party: 72.2%
The Republican Party will fall under the control of the more moderate elements of the party, Trump’s influence will have waned, and the far-right elements will be significantly weaker: 5.6%
The Republican Party will have splintered. Significant numbers from either the pro-Trump camp or the more moderate camp will have either formed their own party, or registered as independents: 22.2%

Based on what you now know, should New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resign?

Yes: 44.4%
No: 25%
Don't Know: 30.6%

A total of 277 DNC members were sent the email survey. 36 responded, for a response rate of 13%.

The Power Poll is not a scientific survey. Rather, Power Poll aggregates the opinions and beliefs of the most powerful, influential, and significant individuals in numerous cities and various industry verticals. The responses generated by Power Poll are important factors in determining where our local, state, and national leaders are steering us. Power Poll is non-partisan. To see the membership of the DNC Power Poll, which includes virtually every DNC member, click here.

By a very large majority, most believe the Republican Party will be unable to deliver themselves from the tight grip of extremism. 72.2% believe the GOP will continue to be one party, dominated by Trump and its far-right elements. Seems accurate as it wasn’t too long after the January 6 insurrection that they were up to their old tricks, inflaming the far-right with divisive rhetoric. A very small 5.6% believe the moderates will live to see leadership another day and a larger, but not overwhelming, 22.2% believe the Party will split to form their own group or become independents.

This week, after this Power Poll was released, a fifth woman came forward with another accusation of sexual misconduct against Governor Cuomo. We may have to ask this question again next month to see if any of the numbers change. As it stands now, 44.4% believe he should resign now, 25% say he should stay, and 30.6% say they don’t know.

I want to end this month with all the great input we received to the first question, “What is the most effective way to deliver this message of Republican inaction to the voters who need to hear it the most?” The answers fell into three buckets: 1) HOW the message should be delivered (message delivery system), 2) WHAT the message should be, and 3) WHO should deliver it. One common theme did emerge: Any message, no matter how it is delivered or who delivers it, should be personalized and localized. I thought I would just list the answers in their separate buckets so you can see how they differ and how they connect. 

HOW (Message Delivery System)

  • Digital advertising
  • Radio ads
  • Rural newspaper ads (“Those readers are Republican and they trust what's local more than what's national. Additionally spending money rural and local will compliment the work of the state and local parties making it possible to have a synergistic effect”)
  • TV campaigns on Fox News
  • Lincoln Project-type ads in competitive districts
  • Social Media Campaigns and targeted Facebook ads
  • Memes
  • Billboards in more rural areas.
  • Repetition (Pick a singular message and keep repeating it)

WHO (Messenger)

  • Influencers on social media apps commonly used by underserved and minority communities (WhatsApp, WeChat, KakaoTalk)
  • Deep door-to-door precinct organizing
  • Individuals telling stories of how the pandemic affected their lives and how the stimulus funds helped them the bridge the gap.
  • Utilize 2020 campaign volunteers and other affinity organizations to post articles and social media tributes
  • Testimonials from Republican voters in members’ districts letting them know how excited (and relieved) they are to receive help and disappointed/angry that their representative voted against
  • Simultaneous press conferences in all states & territories.

WHAT (Message)

  • “While Dems delivered relief, Republicans rambled”
  • Celebrate the relief bill & $1400 payments, with the underlying message that this was brought to you entirely by the Democratic Party & that no Republicans voted for you, including (name names in your state).
  • Very focused message highlighting direct payments and other positive impact of the relief bill.
  • Direct call-out of Republicans that opposed it, by name, in individual states/regions.
  • Outline the positive impact of the $1400.00 Direct Relief payments on the lives and well-being of citizens of all ages, races and Cultural back-grounds.
  • General messages about how it impacts people in places like Omaha, Louisville, and Reno.
  • Democrats deliver for hard working families and those out of work due to the pandemic.
  • Democrats deliver for small businesses and communities so they can build back better from the pandemic.
  • Democrats care about American families who are struggling to make ends meet. The Republican only care about pleasing Donald Trump and his fellow millionaires and billionaires.
  • Talk about Democratic action, not Republican inaction. Own the message!
  • Republican inaction from beginning to the eventual end of this pandemic. Their purposeful ignorance cost lives and cost American families money. 
  • Republicans voted no to help you and your family get through this tough time.
  • Why did Republicans support pandemic relief when Trump was President and now oppose it. They are playing politics with our lives. Democrats supported relief regardless of the President.

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