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Democrats Try To Rebrand

How do you know that the Democrat party is having internal struggles? Pretty easy to see when they have competing brands and feel the need to fix it. According to Politico, they are hiring in some expensive help to craft 2020 messaging. Unfortunately, it may come down to the oxygen in the room.

From the article:

A group of Democratic operatives are launching a $60 million political group with plans to reclaim values-laden terms like “freedom” and “opportunity” for their party ahead of the 2020 election.

The nonprofit organization, called Future Majority, plans to provide strategic advice to other Democratic groups, as well as branding efforts, communications and a “war room” that will debunk fake news and counter conservative social media. The group quietly soft-launched during the 2018 midterms and advised organizations including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on how to message to voters.

With every 2020 hopeful in the party embracing higher taxes and some version of Medicare for All, it would seem the “freedom” message should be pretty easy to knock down. Somehow I don’t think “Democrats, Providing the Opportunity to Give the Government More of Your Money” is great sloganeering, but what do I know.

It seems the group was first active in the 2018 midterms advising the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on House races. However, 2020 will have some features the 2018 races did not, which could overshadow any messaging they develop.

The Democrats have an octogenarian running for the nomination who calls himself a Democratic Socialist. Additionally, they have three very controversial freshmen Representatives that suck up a ton of the oxygen in the media landscape.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s first move when elected was proposing a resolution to upend our economy. Ilhan Omar has made several anti-Semitic comments and videos of Omar and her colleague Rashida Tlaib confirm these views. Even more astounding, the House leadership has had no meaning response to blatant socialism or anti-Semitism. They seem to be treading very carefully with these new members. I assume this is out of a desire not to alienate their increasingly radical base.

It would seem Future Majority is taking their cues from data recently published in The New York Times or has similar data of their own. The results would definitely encourage a more moderate rebrand. It is from the Hidden Tribes study and is compiled by More In Common, a non-partisan. This data shows that large portions of Democrats do not mirror the views of their more vocal and politically active counterparts on social media. For those who do not participate:

  • 53% identify a moderate or conservative Democrats
  • 59% say they don’t follow the news much
  • 70% think political correctness is a problem

That may be why Future Majority’s Director, Mark Riddle had this to say:

“It’s no great secret that the presidential race will be won or lost in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio — if we can win back the narrative that the word ‘Democrat’ equals people who are fighting for folks who work hard every day, we can continue to win elections,” Riddle said. “If [Democrats] get defined as being about socialism and these other words people can hear about out of Washington, then I worry.”

It is not Republicans that are defining the Democrats as supporting socialism. It is actually some of their most vocal and heavily covered members. And I don’t know how you win back the title of helping the working class after eight years of Barack Obama. Especially followed by over two years of a great economy with record levels of employment across all groups. But again, what do I know.

In either case, it will be interesting to see how much play this more moderate rebrand and hopeful message gets in a media environment that needs clicks and thrives on controversy. The only national candidate that seems to want to carry it is Joe Biden. Add the Justice Democrats, who have vowed to primary more moderate Democrats in several districts and it seems more like 2020 will be a screaming match between the factions within the Democrat party.

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