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Report: Winning the Future

Research into the unconscious mind of voters

Wide Angle Research, Future Majority, Worthy Strategy Group, LLC : May 2021

Partnered by:

Summary: three things to think about


In America, people feel like they’re drowning and that they’re profoundly devalued.


Democrats are seen as soft, slow, and spending a lot — they have to invest, not spend; they have to move and make government work.


Democrats have to include people — each and everyone — bring each and everyone  along — on ramps to belonging.

Key study conclusions:

The Perception of the Democratic Party: Soft & Slow, Ineffective & Exclusionary, Big Spenders who are Bad for the Economy.
Soft and Slow:
Frustration from Democrats that the party does not play hardball and gets rolled by the Republicans. Our study shows that people want Democratic leaders to know they have their back and are ready to rumble.

Life is fast but government is slow and viewed unfavorably. And Democrats own government. Therefore, Democrats need to make government work and also modernize government to deal with day to day problems.

Ineffective & Exclusionary:
Democrats are perceived to get nothing done when they are in power. Part of this comes from progress being stymied by Republicans who will do anything to stop progress, part from a deep lack of understanding in how things work, and part from a broad lack of awareness. Democrats need a full-time marketing division.

While Democrats are the Party of diversity and the future, Democrats get backlash from cancel culture, the perception that it is elite, and the idea that Democrats just care about special interest groups. Democrats need to provide on ramps for people to feel included – especially those in small towns.

Big Spenders Who Are Bad for the Economy:
Voters believe that Democrats spend all the money they can get their hands on, and believe government spending makes Americans “servants to [government] generosity,” reducing freedom. This frustrates voters who feel that Democrats care about “line cutters” and reward people who don’t really want to work. Republicans are rewarded for their business associations (and perceived financial acumen) as well as their “aggressive” approach to getting things done.

Democrats need to tell a better story about how their policies open doors of opportunity, and that under their leadership, the economy has actually gotten better for Americans. Also, Democrats ought to embrace the language of investment and talk about economic freedom, ensuring that Americans are the shareholders of the American economy, not just bystanders or servants to it. One thing to note throughout the research project is that technology and a rapidly changing future creates a great deal of anxiety so is in imperative for leaders to be transparent and create tools for people to succeed.

Our methodology

Get more information about our distinctive research techniques.

The participants

We spoke to 36 Democratic, Independent, and Republican voters who self-identified as holding very liberal, middle-of-the-road, moderate left-leaning and moderate right-leaning beliefs.
The voters came from six swing states – Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada – and were a representative sample across measures of race, income, education, location, and gender.
We Asked Participants to Bring In a Series of Metaphorical Images, Representing:
  • their perception of America in this moment and into the future
  • participants’ thoughts and feelings about the Democratic and Republican parties – broadly and as characters, and
  • the impact of each party in power for 20 years
We Also Explored:
  • Their thoughts on which party – the Democratic or Republican party – they would choose to manage various scenarios (Zombie Apocalypse, Financial Management, Desert Island, Child Care) and why
  • And what they sensorially associated with each party in order to uncover a comprehensive picture of the parties.

Today’s Americans

All imagery that follows, unless otherwise indicated, was provided by the research subjects.

Feel like they are DROWNING and DISPENSABLE.

man kicking other men off a pile of money
pondering robot
drowning hand
burning house

Where we’re heading is bleak.

bleak swamp
overgrown abraham lincoln statue

And America is more divided than ever.

two groups of people divided, one is welcoming, one has a fence up
big divide between two neighborhoods, classism

So each person is taking on big problems — ALONE.

two people pushing large red balls up flights of stars
gun with a dove and olive branch
man crawling through the mud under barbed wire

Let’s talk about…
Perceptions of the Political Parties


Party Affiliation
Democrat (D)

Independent (I)

Republican (R)

Political Leaning
Middle-of-the-Road (M)

Moderate Liberal (ML)

Moderate Conservative (MC)

Very Liberal (VL)

Voting Pattern
Regular Voter (R)

  • Every 2-4 years, consistently

Not Regular Voter (NR)

  • Voted in last election,  but doesn’t vote consistently

All imagery that follows, unless otherwise indicated, was provided by the research subjects.

Who is the Democratic party?

They are idealists (maybe too much)

Lourdes, DVLR, Richard, IMCNR, Richard, RMCR, Shannon, DVLR

“The Democrats want to get along with everyone. They want to be helpful. They want to solve problems.” (Lourdes, DVLR)

“I feel the Democrats [have] a strong desire to do the right thing.”(Richard, IMCNR)

“The [Democrat Party is] trying to build this utopian society where everybody’s accepted and loved and everybody’s right and whatever you want to do, do as long as it makes you feel good and doesn’t overtly hurt somebody else.” (Richard, RMCR)

“Democrats want to serve. They’re not just there for the power.” (Shannon, DVLR)

white bunny in grass field
two snails
They are too soft and slow (and Democrats don’t make people safe)
“Democrats are just slower at getting things done, they’re more, Okay, we got to go through all the committees, we got to think about it, we got to… Okay, no, whatever. … there’s no progress being made – things aren’t happening.” (Jess, RMCR)
“They’re just soft. Who doesn’t like a bunny? They’re cute, and they kind of represent … I don’t want to say the meekness of the party, but they’re not really outspoken. They are in their policy and what they do. But, they don’t have to say things to get people to win them over, I guess. I think that their actions speak more than what they’re worth. Bunnies, they like to cuddle up with you, in the sense that they will listen to you and do what they’re told.” (Kurt, DVLNR)
They care, but are shackled by special interests
“Democrats to me are the shackled elephant. [And like] elephants that are in fact shackled, and this is for real, they don’t seem to realize their own strength. They’re not willing to do some of the things that the Republicans have recently done. Because there’s still rule followers or, tradition followers.” (Margaret, IMLR)
“They’re just the puppets on the strings going through the motions of jumping on board with what we’re displaying… they’re not really staying on top of it.” (Brandon, RMCR)
“[That’s] corporate America weighing down [the Democrats’] agenda with donations. ..that’s one of those things they’re going to continue to struggle with. It’s knee-buckling, as you can tell. The party is not homogenous at all – all of those different groups, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, different [are[ pulling at them to go different ways.” (Jeff, IMR)
elephant with chains around feet
wooden puppets on strings

They spend money like water

Ron, IMCR, Richard, IMCNR, Amy, IMNR

“I think that they have a big wish list of things they knew need to happen, and they’re much more willing to spend the money.” (Ricard, IMCNR)

“The Democratic Party is much more, Oh, you need help. Here you go. Whether you’re scamming the system or not, here you go.” (Amy, IMNR)

“We’re going to go pay money to foreign countries..They are the party of giveaways. They are the party of welfare. They’re the party of the great society.” (Ron, IMCR)

But there’s something about Democrats…
“Forrest is just focused going forward…he doesn’t really get how much power he’s got behind him. We’ve got this whole group of totally different types of people following him across the highway or across the desert. He’s not concerned. He’s not trying all that hard to get them. He’s not trying, at all, to get them to follow him, but they are.” (Margaret, IMLR)
“[I wish I could say to the party], exert the power you have. Stop being afraid to use it, that’s the frustrating thing…Republicans have no problem doing that, flexing their power and over and over running whatever’s in their way to get what they want done.” (Jeff, IMR)
forrest gump running

Where do Democrats win?

They open up doors of opportunity for the future
While the Republican party is strongly associated with letting everyday Americans fend for themselves, the Democratic party is associated with offering a hand up, building stairways, ladders and bridges to opportunity, opening up doors, and providing opportunities for people to thrive through healthcare, higher pay, education, and housing accessibility.
open door to a bright hallway
where do the democrats win?

They own science, tech, and the environment

Kurt, DVLNR, Margaret, IMLR, Ben H., IMLR, Richard, IMCNR, Richard, RMCR

“The Democratic Party focuses more on science and technology. They have more progressive policy and push technological innovation. (Kurt, DVLNR)

“[Democrats] are willing to follow science. You cannot deny it when you’ve got major amounts of glacial melting, oceans rising, climate changing. How do you say, Yeah, no, that’s not a problem?“ (Margaret, IMLR)

“They care about the earth, care about protecting the environment and see it as important.” (Ben H. IMLR)

“[With Democrats], there’s an attempt to have an increased awareness as to what decisions will impact the environment long term. (Richard, IMCNR)

“The Democrats are very much into saving the environment.” (Richard, RMCR)

The future (but it’s daunting)
“[This is] Vice President Harris with her briefcase, heels, climbing the ladder- showing that no matter who you are, what you look like, your race, gender doesn’t matter, you can still accomplish your dreams and keep moving forward.” (Steve, DMLR)
woman standing on top of an arrow, moving towards progress

Who is the Republican party?

They toe the line
“This is actually a picture from a Dante’s Inferno. Everybody is covering their eyes, they’re following the person in front of them blindly and going over the cliff. And I think that’s the problem. It’s going to destroy the party.” (Brian, IMLNR)
“I can’t even look at them – there’s still people that support him. Even though I tend to go conservative…Trump just spewed everything out of his mouth and was so unprofessional. He did all these hateful things. When I think of the Republicans now I just think of them as just, they’re all following him blindly.” (Karen, RMCR)
“Republicans sell their souls to corporations. The sky is all dark and gloomy. I feel like the Republican Party is the face of America. It’s dark times ahead. Even hundreds of years later, it’s still white old men. They’re just pushing the status quo. There’s no innovation and it’s just going to go downhill from there.” (Kurt, DVLNR)
group of men marching down the street
man walking away from a pyramid of people
men walking blindly off a cliff

They deliver (for themselves)

Kurt, DVLNR, Nick S., DVLR, Hannah, IMR

“I feel like the Republican Party is greedy. They line their pockets with corporations and donors a lot. I just have the intuition that I feel like they would take more money from me than what is necessary. (Kurt, DVLNR)

“What Republicans just want to hold onto is an individualistic view. It ends up leading down to a lot of selfishness. When you’re talking on a large scale of the government of the whole country, you really do have to be caring about other people because just chasing that individualism so hard is what leaves other people down.” (Nick S, DVLR)

“They’re hypocritical and they only care about one thing and that’s finances. They don’t really care about people. What I should’ve put instead of this image of the Republican party, is Mr. Scrooge. What’s their motto? Me, me, me. It’s just keeping their wealth, if that’s all that seems to matter.” (Hannah, IMR)

They create a side show (instead of delivering solutions)
“The clown. Oh well, that pretty much represents the last four years to me, it’s a horrific image. Post-apocalyptic almost, what would appear to be a childish creature being held by this evil clown. Yeah. That’s the way it, with the last presidency, felt to me. On a daily basis, I went to bed worried every night, and I woke up worried every night.” (Margaret, IMLR)
“Because they are all clowns for dealing with [Trump].” (Gary, IMR)
”The Republican one is crying because they’re still clowns, too. However, they’re just more sad, and sobbing, and rejecting everything that [Democrats] are trying to do. And they’re just sulking in it now that they don’t have state and local control anymore.” (Brandon, RMCR)
scary clown at a theme park
happy and sad clowns
american flag church
gun on top of an american flag
They’re obsessed with God, guns & business (…and so is a lot of America)
“That’s impossible. I’m going to say, red meat, so hamburger or steak, just because Republicans are all for guns. They want to be able to have gun hunting. [With Democrats], let’s go with fish just because they don’t want guns. They want gun control. So you don’t use a gun to kill a fish. It’s more gentle, fishing.” (Kaycee, RMCR)
“I would say God, they value religion. Right to bear arms, ‘God, guns and business pretty much as their three core pillars.” (Ben, IMLR)
“Republicans are more pro military. They’re more pro guns. I think they want to spend more on military budget stuff and they’re more pro cops and they’re more pro, like, law and order.” (Amy, IMNR)

They own traditional family values

Samantha, RMCNR & Sheila, RMCR

“Family first (a Republican value) is important because when you come into this world it’s family is the first thing that you experience. So there’s a lot of things that get built upon those first connections you make. Family, that’s a group that I think everybody for the most part really holds dear to their hearts because that’s where a lot of their love and acceptance comes from. Unfortunately, there are some families in the world that are broken or need some work. But it’s the first thing that everybody experiences and that’s an unconditional love.” (Samantha, RMCNR)

“Well, I think it was protecting American interests. The economy, it was booming. I mean, it’s still doing pretty well, but I mean, it’s kind of all those things with business and defending American interests, and just the traditional values of education, hard work, the whole bit that you’ll… By hard work that you will get, you will reap the rewards.” (Sheila, RMCR)

black and white thinking
person's face painted half black half white
nun wagging her finger and a ruler

Their black & white thinking is calming

“I think we need order. We need to know what’s expected, procedures, just makes things a lot calmer when you know what’s expected of you or what you’re expected to do and what you can expect from others…[With the Republican party], there’s almost like a comfort level because you’re not looking around or looking over your shoulder, thinking something’s going to change or someone will take something or whatever, but it’s calming.” (Sheila, RMCR)
“We have a government because we do not do well on our own without some governance. It goes back to our sinful nature, we’re allowed to do things on our own, it’s what’s only best for us and what we want. We do whatever is right in our eyes. We do need some laws, we do need some structure. We respond to that. Like raising kids, you have children, would you let your children run wild? They need boundaries to grow up to be responsible adults. And with us, we need boundaries even as adults.” (Connie, RMCR)

Where do Republicans win?

Aggression & money

Brandon, RMCR, Sofia L., DVLR, Kaycee W., RMCR

“Simply because if we did have to build some type of infrastructure, they wouldn’t be against it for damaging property or something. We’d be able to get the resources that we needed without argument or fight. It’d be an easier decision to go with Republican than not. Just the overall aggression of the party is what I like. I need something done. Let’s get it done.” (Brandon, RMCR)

“[When it comes to money], I would want a Republican. My thought pattern is a Democrat would be much more conservative with my finances, where Republicans are probably going to be much more aggressive, and I’m okay with leaning more towards aggressive planning than conservative just because while there’s more risk, there’s also more gain opportunity. Republicans are more aggressive and are really driven for success primarily through money, and I think that’s a good thing in a sense of helping grow and support our economy.“(Sofia L, DVLR)

“For some reason when Trump was in office, the stocks were sky high. I don’t know why. Maybe because all those big businesses were making more money. I think that a lot of Republicans have investments. And like I said, the lower class, which are usually Democrats are the lower paid class. They don’t have it. They don’t have the money for that. They can’t put that in. They’re barely surviving getting by so they’re not going to be putting money in investments.” (Kaycee W, RMCR)

How Indies are unique in viewing both parties

When Independents think positively about Democrats, they tend to focus on the party’s commitment to the environment, green energy, science and technology, the party’s general care for others, and the idea of opening up doors to opportunity. They tend to have more concerns regarding scarce resources and express worry that the party will spend all the money leading to inflation, unemployment lines, and government dependency.
national park, open door and raining money
scissors cutting red ribbon, eagle on american flag
When Independents think positively about Republicans, they tend to focus on money and getting things done, and on freedom. They tend to have concerns about a lack of attention to the environment, income inequality, and basic needs not being met because of the individualistic approach the Republican party embraces.

Critical: The Independent Voter

While only 7-10% of the vote, Pure Independents often determine outcomes. This shows what drives their vote. Hover over each plot point to see a particular issue/trait.

(In the eyes of voters) the parties may be just the same
“[Democrats] are probably more similar to Republicans than they want to seem. They want to seem different and diametrically opposed, but essentially they’re still part of the same political system. They still have their benefits and their own interests that they’re looking out for. Perhaps they’re looking out for the public more than the Republican Party in my opinion, but they’re still looking out for their own interests.” (Paul, IMR)
man commanding other men to carry large gears

Critical watchouts & opportunities

Watchout 1:

Democrats are exclusionary.
Establishing onramps to belonging.

Watchout 2:

Democrats spend, spend, spend.
Aggressively stand up for Americans’ economic freedom.

Watchout 3:

Democrats are ineffective.
“Fix the damn pothole!”

Watchout 1: Democrats are exclusionary*

*But they can fix it!

Diversity and inclusion is kinda the Dems’ thing… and it’s more and more everyone’s thing

Karen, RMCR, Marie W., IMLR, Richard, RMCR

“It’s good to have more racial diversity. It’s good to have more people who are going to see things from a different perspective – not everything who is white goes through what someone who is Black has gone through.” (Karen, RMCR)

“Well, if you look at the cabinet choices that the president is making, how diverse they are, I think he realizes who got him elected. And he realized he has to try to make our political appointees look like who they represent.” (Marie W, IMLR)

“We’ve learned in a lot of our diversity training. Now it’s all about, hey, let’s include as many thoughts and many backgrounds as we can. If we include everyone and try to work together, we will be a lot better because you hear different perspectives and opinions. That’s a lot of our leadership training in corporate America nowadays – let’s include as many people as we can.” (Richard, RMCR)

two young girls sipping tea
Yet voters perceive Democrats as unwelcoming (the importance of inclusion)
“It leads them to… of course, both parties do this, like to totally, totally stick together, even knowing, even knowing and seen evidence that things shouldn’t be like that and I just see them, like almost like a clique, like a frat or a sorority or something like that.” (Steve, DMLR)
“(Republicans) are the cool kids in class …Democrats are the stoners that recycle. I feel like I don’t really fit into any of those groups from high school. (Which group are you in?) I’m just a nobody that nobody knows.”
(Amy, IMNR)
“The Democratic Party is almost fueling that divide because it’s almost like segregation of different minority groups that matter. Why can’t we all matter? Every single one of us. How far do you want to dissect us? Isn’t the whole point of the United States is it doesn’t matter what color, what race, what religion, whatever. We’re one. Isn’t that what we should focus on instead of individualizing?”
(Hannah, IMR)
“To retain the slim governing majority they now hold, Dems must speak to all Americans and not just to themselves. It’s not so much a question of policy as language, emphasis and approach.”
David Axelrod
Democrats aren’t connecting
A lot of progressive language is completely outside of the Independent lexicon. Current activist terms are almost never used and may feed into views that Democrats are “holier-than-thou” and elitist.

In 1,351 open-ended responses, mentions of:

wdt_ID Term Frequency
1 Equity 0
3 People of color; POC 0
4 Racial justice 0
5 White supremacy 1
6 Social justice 4
7 Latinx 0
8 Marginalized 0
9 New citizens 0
10 Undocumented 1
censored social media apps
hand on top of a sign for an inclusive restroom
Culture wars (WARNING: the GOP anti-trans movement is a real thing for voters)
“Well [in the case of a Zombie apocalypse], Democrats would want to assemble a diverse response team and it’d be concerned about the zombies’ chosen pronouns. John Kerry would head out and apologize to the zombies for being in their way.” (Mike, IMCR)
“I think some of their protections are over the board. Even though I don’t care about LGBTQ, anybody whoever has seen sports can agree that a male can’t compete in a female sport, just because they say, or they’re transitioned into a female. So, if these kids are able to compete as a female, it really discriminates against the female. They ain’t going to be the other way, the female are going to transition to a male and compete in a male sport.” (Thomas, IMCR)
“With the Democrats, this is one thing I don’t agree with. I don’t think that biologically born males should be competing in female sports because some of them, when they transition, they’re taking the hormones before they hit puberty and some of them take the hormones after they hit puberty. If you take them after you hit puberty, I just don’t think it’s it’s fair and I don’t think we should push for that.” (Amy, IMNR)

Opportunity 1: Establish onramps to belonging

Reestablish connection:
  • In this time of disunity, people crave connection with others.
  • Establish positive sources of connection in neutral territory (As Pennsylvanians, as people who care about our kids, etc.)
Move forward together:
  • While diverse identities are important, Dems must not forget about those beyond the base, who often feel excluded from the party.
  • Talk about moving forward together where everyone has a role, the shared values we hold, the strength of working together, and how that work connects with positive historical figures across generations.
Create onramps to belonging:
  • Cancel culture shuts down the conversation – it’s not about perfection — it’s about progressing forward.
  • Create onramps to belonging, welcoming those who want to join us rather than critiquing their imperfections.
Lean into history:
  • Historically, any great thing we’ve ever done as a country has been done together.
  • Remind voters of the legacy of teamwork (Race to the Moon, Normandy, Public Works Project, etc.) and how we are better together.

Watchout 2: Democrats spend, spend, spend (other people’s money)*

*But they can fix it!
There is a perception that Democrats spend all the money they can get their hands on…
“That they’re just going to give all our tax money away to people that don’t really need it. Because my taxes, or not mine because I don’t pay any, well I do kind of, but it’s my husband’s. It’s his taxes and everybody that’s working’s taxes. I think everybody should get a fair shot in life – some people need the help, but not everybody needs that help. There’s a lot of people that are takers, and I feel like the Democrats will put up with the takers more than Republicans.” (Kaycee, RMCR)
“I don’t think there’s any bad intentions. I just think that with all the government programs – Medicaid, Medicare, infrastructure, student loan forgiveness, bailing out cities that are bankrupt, there’s only so many ways all the money can go. Eventually, it’s going to run out. Then inflation is going to come, and then services are going to go down, and prices are going to go up, and people are going to be unemployed or on the street, homeless.” (Thomas, IMCR)
people smiling amidst raining money
cartoon santa on a sled

Words matter.

Good langauge:
Pelosi on Infrastructure bill:
“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a visionary, once-in-a-century investment in the American people and in America’s future. This package is about jobs, jobs, jobs: creating millions of good-paying union jobs, investing in American workers and turbocharging America’s global competitiveness – all while reimagining and revitalizing our infrastructure in a transformative, resilient way.”

Bernie Sanders general campaign speech:
“Today, we say to the military-industrial-complex that we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military – more than the next ten nations combined. We’re going to invest in affordable housing, we’re going to invest in public education, we’re going to invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure — not more nuclear weapons and never-ending wars.”

Bad language:
Biden on Infrastructure Bill:
“Critics say we shouldn’t spend this money. They ask, What do we get out of it? Well, they said the same thing when we first flew into space for the first time. They said the same thing. And we’ll significantly ramp up the IRS enforcement against corporations who either fail to report their incomes or under-report. It’s estimated that it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars. All of this adds up to more than what I’ve proposed to spend in just 15 years.”

Biden on American Rescue Plan:
“And one of the things that we said in the beginning that no one thought that I was being straight about was I said: This is going to create — we — we have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth, unrelated to how much it’s going to help people.”

Dems look down on and punish those whose money they take…
“Caring, but more interested in how things look than how they really are. Takes care of people by giving things to them rather than helping them work for it themselves.”

“A person who wants more but isn’t willing to EARN it and wants those who have already achieved more to subsidize him/her without giving anything in return.”

“Doesn’t know much about other people’s life but want to command everyone to sacrifice themselves just to make some minorities life better.”

“Give away financial help to everyone even though they are not entitled to it.”

“Spend my money like it was their own.”

“Condemns working class for being successful and making good money.”

“They want to be seen as a savior by offering things for free, but take no concern for those who ultimately have to pay the cost.”

“Spends funds and assets of other people.”

“Majority pays for others to live on welfare.”

drawing of people lining up for "free stuff no work," socialism
cups hands receiving a coin
Some voters fear that spending undermines hard work and leads to dependency
“When you give somebody something all the time without any effort, you lessen them, and you lessen you. It gives them no incentive to work. You’re just creating a servant to your generosity.” (Ron, IMCR)
“There’s an expression, you teach a man to fish, he eats for life. You give him a fish. He eats for a day. I said it backwards, but you know what I mean. Let him open up his business. Let him get the education, teach them what to do. I don’t believe in welfare. I believe even Clinton did something. He did it under workfare.” (Rick, RMCR)
“I just think that both sides are corrupt. Specifically, with Democrats, sometimes I feel like the government, they want a lot of government in your life.” (Sara, DVLNR)
To get our spend on, we tax as much as we can get away with…
“Just because I believe in lower taxes and I’m not going to be rich ever, but I won’t get as much taken away if the Republicans are in charge.” (Thomas, IMCR)
“The [Democratic Party] motto would be high taxes to help everyone. Because that seems like that’s what they do, bring on higher taxes so that they can help everyone.” (Amy, IMNR)
“I guess with their taxes, they think that the higher your income, the more you should be taxed, and I don’t agree with that. I think it should be the same tax for everybody. Cause the more we make now, then they’re just taking more of our money even though we’re working harder than the people who don’t work at all.” (Kaycee, RMCR)
"taxes" on top of coins
spare change

Opportunity 2: Aggressively stand up for Americans’ economic freedom

Where Democrats are:
  • Voters believe that Democrats spend all the money they can get their hands on, and believe government spending makes Americans “servants to [government] generosity,” reducing freedom. This frustrates voters who feel that Democrats support “line cutters,” undermining fairness, and reward people who don’t really want to work.
  • Republicans are rewarded for their business associations (and perceived financial acumen) as well as their “aggressive” approach to getting things done.
What Democrats need to do:
  • Democrats need to tell a better story about how their policies open doors of opportunity, and that under their leadership, life and the economy have gotten better for everyday Americans.
  • Also, Democrats ought to embrace the language of investment and talk about economic freedom, ensuring that Americans are the shareholders of the American economy, not just bystanders or servants to it.
  • Democrats also need to simplify their language around revenue and better convey our values.
  • One thing to note is that technology and a rapidly changing future creates a great deal of anxiety regarding job loss, in particular, so it is imperative for leaders to be transparent and create tools for people to succeed.

Watchout 3: Democrats are ineffective*

*But they can fix it!
Dems talk a big game but don’t deliver when they are in power…
“Sometimes I feel like they tell us things and it never happens.” (Kayla, DMLR)
“When I think of Democrats – a lot of big promises, and a lot of big fancy words that sound really cool, but then when you get down to it, what’s actually happening? Is this better? Are you really in a better place than you were? That’s kind of what I think of. Just over the top.” (Jess, RMCR)
“Well, our current governor here in Michigan is a Democrat. The roads here in Michigan are absolutely terrible. There’s a pothole every time you blink and everybody always wants to say how they’re going to fix the roads, but nobody fixes the roads. So, this feels like a broken promise.” (Samantha, RMCNR)
large pothole filled with water

Why is this happening?

Progress Stymied by the Other Side
“Had history gone differently, none of the whole Trump thing would have happened. I think President Obama was so stymied by the Republican Party, basically. That man couldn’t get out of bed, pretty much, without somebody trying to block his way. It was like he was trying to open doors, and somebody was holding on the far side all the damn time.” (Margaret, IMLR)
A Deep Lack of Understanding of How Things Work
“Everything is going to go up. Inflation is going to happen if the Democrats are in power because it’s already happening. Biden has only been in office for what, two months? Yeah, a month and a half now. And the gas prices have skyrocketed and people say, Oh, it’s not from him. Well, it is because he stopped the Keystone Pipeline or whatever, and then they went up. It went up. So that’s inflation for sure.”  (Kaycee, RMCR)
People Are Disconnected from Everyday Politics
“There are entire groups of people who feel they are [not] part of the system…for either party….Appalachians, poorer states, inner city poor, etc. They are disconnected from and not served by the political system caused by social isolation, financial isolation, opportunity isolation. I mean those things are, I mean fairly objective the bad things.” (Richard, IMCNR)

Democrats need to give Americans agency on how they can build the future…

Marie W., IMLR

“Full steam ahead? Because that’s where I think we need to keep it going. I think we need to stop talking, stop blaming and talking about the stuff that happened in the past. You can’t undo that, but let’s start where we are now and try to make things better from here.”
(Marie, IMLR)

Opportunity 3: “Fix the damn pothole!”

Where Democrats are:
  • American voters are deeply frustrated with the idea of a government that works for everyone but them.
  • A government that cannot deliver for its people is at best, useless, and at worst, a match that will set off a powder keg.
  • We are a tipping point for the United States. This is not business as usual.
Show, tell, deliver:
  • Give voters agency to create a compelling, positive vision for the future. This is not about how the Republican Party is terrible; it’s about how the Democratic party, will partner with and open up opportunities for the people to get to a better future.
  • Deliver results for voters that represent what the people want — not just what Republican lawmakers will allow.
  • Take victory laps with Dem wins, continually reminding voters what they’re getting with a Democratic administration.
Going beyond the boom and bust:
  • Democrats must work to engage voters beyond election cycles.
  • For voters, this means meaningful engagement on the federal and local by intentionally creating and joining communities to engage the populace, investing in local democratic clubs that do things between elections and establish multiple on-ramps to political engagement (calls, canvassing, and cookies, among others).
  • Show voters what happens when Democrats are in charge by featuring voters impacted by issues, educating voters on those issues, and delivering solutions to those issues across a variety of media formats.

These findings backed up by our other research

Voters Are Negative About Government

Thinking about the U.S. government and its role in your life, how well do you think it’s working for you?

Summary: what the Democrats need to do


In order to break through Fox News and the MAGA disinformation machine, Dems have to frame abstract policy ideas in simple terms that show how they will help struggling folks in their everyday lives.


Investments, Not Costs and Taxes! Because a majority of voters believe Republicans are better for their pocketbooks, Dems must use the language of investment when discussing jobs and economic freedom. A lot of folks are drowning financially and need to understand how specific policy investments will provide opportunities for them in the here and now, making them shareholders of the American economy.


Eyes OFF the ball = Dems Losing. At all costs, Democrats need to avoid getting caught up in click-bait skirmishes. Working-class voters want to see us perform, not preach. If we do — if we make their lives better — even Fox News won’t be able to deny it. And those workers will reward us. We can do this without betraying our values. But our discussions must be framed in terms of economic opportunities and freedom for all.

In conclusion

Moving forward, there are clear opportunities for our political parties to meet the moment and deliver for the American people. This is just the first step of our research project.


The research in detail, plus potential fissures in the Republican party

More on the parties

  • Character Personifications of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party
  • The Party in Charge for 20 years — What would happen, what voters expect
  • Which would you rather? Creative Scenarios and what they say about each party
  • Sensory Associations and Party Brand Guide
  • Tipping Points: What it Would Take for Party Loyalists and Indies to Switch Sides

The Democratic party, metaphorically and as characters


Democrats strongly associated with caring, connection, idealism, fun, giving, desire to be helpful

Positive Associations from Within the Party

Diverse, charismatic, everyone has value, support the people and middle class

Negative Associations from Outside the Party

Democrats are childlike idealists who can’t deliver, spend all the money and boss around the country with their social mores. They are trying to please too many groups.

Negative Associations from Within the Party

Democrats are weighed down by corporate money, too soft on Republicans, can be two-faced, feel like they can be anti-white.


Overwhelming idea of party being for others and for everyone.

Future of Party

Across segments, there’s a perception the party is moving in a more progressive, more diverse direction. Many talk about the possibility of a first female president coming from within the party.

The Republican party, metaphorically and as characters


Republicans strongly associated with aggression and getting things done, order and rules, traditional values, corporations, business, and finance and the individual (not others).

Outside the Party

Republicans are the party of liars and snakes, they spread disunity, they are racist, sexist, and out of step with the times

Within the Party

Republicans are fearful, abrasive, arrogant, refuse to work with Democrats, hold old-fashioned social mores (anti-trans, racist, etc.) and are too tied to religious blocks of voters.


Overwhelming idea of Me, me, me instead of We.

Future of Party

Across segments, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to the future direction of the party. Many perceive imminent or eventual collapse.

The Democratic party — Outcomes of being in charge for 20 years

Democrats on Democrats in charge

Independents on Democrats in charge

Republicans on Democrats in charge

cupped hands receiving money
tattered shoe and polished shoe
two kids fighting
silhouette of someone pushing a person in a wheelchair
person looking at stacks of binders
china flag
man being carried
deserted city
couple looking at green city
people holding hands around globe
city exploding
people holding signs with $15
reaching hands across american flag
police fighting with protestors
forrest gump running
garbage in the street
high gas prices
graveyard with crosses
hand reaching through ribbon
person helping someone up
people helping someone climb
rainbow people
military on steps
money down the drain
monkey covering eyes
police fighting
police man in handcuffs
police with shields
earth on fire
robot cutting a cord
people in scales
scales with question marks
people marching with raised fists
rotting food
road and mountains
pumping gas
lady liberty silenced
girls sipping tea
man with gun to person's head
spare change
man with "need work" sign
  1. Lines — Government handouts/dependency leads to job loss
  2. Exclusion — Cancel Culture & Picking fights
  3. Chaos — Messy, broken streets & devastation
  4. Steal/Take away money from others/Higher Taxes
  5. Red Tape
  6. Chaos: Rioting/Government Control
  7. Hidden Costs under legislation
  1. Caring for the Environment and Green Energy
  2. Technology & Science
  3. General Care and getting Along
  4. Diversity & Inclusion — for voting and beyond
  5. Opening doors/stairs to housing/opportunities
  6. Healthcare & Dignity
  7. Lines from Government Dependency (Negative)
  1. Diversity & Inclusion — Connection with Everyone
  2. Caring for the Earth
  3. Education for young people
  4. Caring for the underdog and helping them thrive
  5. Women have more money/power
  6. Healthcare
  7. Global Harmony

Democrats in charge — associated outcomes

  • Women Have More Money/Power
  • Global Harmony
  • Family Values
  • Unions
  • Social Security
Democrats & Republicans:
  • Everyone Gets to Vote
  • Beating COVID
  • Inefficiency/Waste
  • Higher Taxes
  • Pork Barrel Bills
  • Feel good solution when tough solution is needed Govt Control (Too Much)
  • Big Promises, No Follow Through
Democrats & Independents:
  • Jobs — Better Jobs and Opportunities for All
  • Technical Innovation & Science
  • Healthcare & Dignity for All
  • Better Education
Democrats, Republicans, & Independents:
  • Caring for the Earth/Green Energy Technology & Science
  • Caring, Connection and Helping Others Diversity and Inclusion
  • Opening Doors/Stairs to Housing/Opportunity
Republicans & Independents:
  • Higher Gas Prices/Costs
  • Lots of Govt Spending
  • Int’l Disrespect because we are weak
  • Chaos – Messy Streets & Riots
  • Exclusion – Cancel Culture
  • Lines – Govt Handouts / Dependency / People out of work
  • Chaos/No Rules — Immigration out of control
  • Corporate Influence
  • Connected with what Americans Really Want
  • Living Wages/Better Wages
  • Shackling the Police Promoting Trans/Pronouns

The Republican party — Outcomes of being in charge for 20 years

Democrats on Republicans in charge

men in suits
globe spinning over a fire
gun with dove and olive branch
men passing money in secret
picking someone out of a line
hand drowning
woman calculating home bills
picking a man out of a group of women
military marching
air pollution
man standing in the middle of a maze
people marching down the street
two islands
divide between two neighborhoods, classism
empty plate
gun on american flag
man holding up large blocks
earth in a hand, climate change

Independents on Republicans in charge

man walking away from pyramid
hands holding baby feet in heart
no trespassing sign
man breathing through a machine
imbalance of scales
hand playing puppet with scales
pied piper
why people are locked up
march for trans rights
police carrying a man
melting ice
earth has a temperature
kids with outstretched ams
baby holding a gun
crowd comparisons

Republicans on Republicans in charge

construction workers
people in a meeting
money going up on a graph
sewing machine
world flag globe with gavel
people at work
graph going up
person with outward pointing arrows
person sitting watching sunset
american flag in church
national park mountains
manufacturing line
women holding lollipops
people about to fall off cliff
people pointing fingers at woman
paper cutout family
emerald city
woman in beach chair
eagle and flag
growing money
caged bird
man in tie and cape
pulp fiction
  1. Growing the Economy/Productivity
  2. Ability to relax without worrying about pronouns
  3. Helping others
  4. Christians/Republicans in Bed Together (Negative)
  5. Freedom!
  6. Family values
  1. Lack of climate care & more digging for oil
  2. Basic needs not met 
(Food, Water, Housing, Electricity)
  3. Racism/Police brutality
  4. Brutal individualism
  5. Lies & conspiracy theories elevated
  6. Disunity & obstruction
  7. More and more guns
  1. Favoring the wealthy over middle class and poor
  2. Pollution/Lack of climate care
  3. Income disparity
  4. White men in charge
  5. Basic needs not met (Food, Water, Housing, Electricity)
  6. Racist policies that devalue life
  7. More and more guns

Democrats in charge — associated outcomes

  • Nazis and Facism
  • Chaos at the Capital
  • Kids in Cages
  • Overfunding military
  • Funding the wall
Democrats & Republicans:
  • Growing the Economy/Productivity
  • Joy/Can Relax without worrying about pronouns
  • Helping Others
  • Christians / Republicans in Bed Together (Negative)
  • Republicans spread lies
  • Black and white thinking
Democrats & Independents:
  • Anti-Abortion Policies
  • Racism/Police Brutality
  • Lots of Guns
  • Basic Needs Not Met — Food, Water, Housing, Electricity
Democrats, Republicans, & Independents:
  • Lack of Climate Care /Digging for Oil
  • Income/Wealth Gap
  • It’s a (White) Man’s World
Republicans & Independents:
  • World Respects Us
  • Traditional Family Values
  • Freedom!
  • No Red Tape
Democrats & Independents:
  • Lies & Conspiracies
  • Not working with Dems — Disunity/Obstruction
  • Status Quo Healthcare
  • Anti-Immigration
  • Brutal Individualism
  • Policies that Hurt Children
  • War & Nuclear Weapons
  • Corruption
  • Transphobia

Which party would you rather…

…be in charge during a zombie apocalypse?
  • Democrats: 60% chose Democrats, 40% chose Republicans.
  • Republicans: 88% chose Republicans, 12% chose Democrats
  • Independents: 60% chose Republicans, 50% chose Democrats, and 10% chose a combination of both.
  • Insight: Republicans are perceived as providing strength and security through aggression…
    • “They’ve been about law and order since the inception of the Constitution, for God’s sakes. And they’re really good at it too. They’re really good at locking people up and keeping people safe, for the most part. I’m trying to articulate this out of my brain, but… They give no quarter when it comes to safety.”
    • Black voters unilaterally chose Democrats because of the belief that Republicans might shoot them.
…be on a desert island with?
  • Democrats: 90% chose Democrats, 10% chose Republicans.
  • Republicans: 55% chose Republicans, 22% chose Democrats, 23% chose a combination of both.
  • Independents: 83% chose Democrats and 17% chose a combination of both.
  • Insight: The perception of Democrats is that they would be better company and more cooperative.
    • “I mean the Republican Party would probably be pretty boring, they’d be like, All right, figure it all out, work it, do this and that. Versus the Democratic Party would probably be like, All right, let’s start taking inventory of what resources we have and start using those and be a lot more creative on it.”
…hold power of attorney over your finances?
  • Democrats: 82% chose Democrats, 18% chose Republicans.
  • Republicans: 88% chose Republicans, 12% chose Democrats
  • Independents: 55% chose Republicans, 33% chose Democrats, and 12% chose a combination of both.
  • Insight: Overall feeling is that Democrats would give your money away.
    • “The Republicans. Just because I believe in lower taxes and I’m not going to be rich ever, but I won’t get as much taken away if the Republicans are in charge.”
…care for your child?
  • Democrats: 100% chose Democrats.
  • Republicans: 50% chose Republicans, 25% chose Democrats, 25% chose a combination of both.
  • Independents: 64% chose Democrats, 27% chose Republicans, 9% chose a combination of both.
  • Insight: Democrats are considered more caring
    • Democrats, Compassion. I feel like there’s compassion there. They’re probably not going to be separated from me and put into kennels.

If the Democratic Party had a motto, what would it be and why?

Democrats on Democrats:
  • Helping everyone and be kind to all
  • God bless America and every place else. Man of the people.
  • Everyone is in this together, people at the top and at the bottom.
  • Hard working, down to earth
  • For the people
  • All together in this world
  • Just don’t look too deep
  • Equal rights for all
  • I love everyone, and I will fight for you
  • Being open to change as certain ideas of America might change
  • We have an all-inclusive society
Independents on Democrats:
  • High taxes to help everyone
  • Tolerant unless you disagree
  • Full steam ahead
  • Let’s make America Better
  • If it feels good do it
  • It’s going to get worse
  • Go big or go home
  • We’re all in this together
  • We shall rise again
  • Fight for people who the system doesn’t fight for
  • Invest in the future
  • Don’t tell me what to do
  • It’s just big, big, give, give, give
Republicans on Democrats:
  • Whatever you want me to say, whatever you want to hear, I’m going to tell you because you want to hear it.
  • Take from the rich, and give to the poor
  • Make it big, make it shiny, put everything in lights
  • The golden rule — you treat people how you want to be treated
  • Inclusion is best
  • We include everyone as long as you look like us
  • Do as I say
  • Let’s make it all good for now, worry later

If the Republican Party had a motto, what would it be and why?

Democrats on Republicans:
  • I’m always right and I’m going to do it anyway.
  • No Fun or Me First.
  • We’re the best, we’re #1
  • Give me all your money. Pay me.
  • Let’s stay together. Let’s unify. Let’s form a club and call it The Patriot Club, and don’t let anybody in other than Republicans.
  • Make money at any cost.
  • Power, being in power, having the power.
  • Fend for yourself, do what you need to do for yourself even if it doesn’t do good or help support those around you.
  • Fight Stronger and Fight Harder. With any means you have to.
  • Get back to work, you’re working work hard for me.
  • More for the wealthy, less for the common person
Independents on Republicans:
  • If you do well, you get more control
  • Gods, guns, and the economy, and oil
  • No shame, No chain, No game
  • MAGA… America WILL be Great
  • All for one and that’s me
  • Get the job done
  • My way or the Highway
  • Anything besides traditional conservatism is nonsense
  • Work hard to survive
  • God, guns, and business
  • Me, Me, Me
Republicans on Republicans:
  • We work for you
  • Live free or die
  • Don’t tread on me
  • Family and Country First
  • Destroy the world
  • It’s my way or the highway
  • We include everyone as long as you look like us
  • Let’s get the job done
  • Let’s sit down and brainstorm
  • Civility and courtesy

If the Democratic/Republican party were a politician, which politician would it be and why?

  • Politicians identified tended to be more diverse with diverse backgrounds, representing the evolution of America. Those selected were not consistently from a stereotypical political background.
  • Politicians identified tended to be more frequently from a wealthy background, more white and male, and tended to be defenders of the status quo.

If the Democratic/Republican party were a food, which food would it be and why?

  • Democrats associated with foods that bring together a diversity of ingredients – e.g. fruit salad, burger, jambalaya.
  • Democrats represent healthier, more communal, more diverse choices.
  • Republicans associated with expensive food items and traditional foods.
  • Republicans strongly associated with elite, vice-ridden, and traditional foods.

If the Democratic/Republican party were a sound, style, or piece of music, which sound, style, or piece of music would it be and why?

  • Democrats associated with more contemporary, diverse, and alternative music offerings indicating the associations Democrats have with contemporary, diverse culture.
  • Republicans strongly associated with more traditional music offerings, including rock music, classical, and country music, indicating more traditional culture.

If the Democratic/Republican party were a scent, smell, or fragrance, which scent, smell, or fragrance would it be and why?

  • Democrats associated with pleasant, soft, comforting, and fresh smells — potentially more feminine, lighter scents.
  • Republicans associated with more musky scents, with lots of traditional Americana and harder, stronger scents and smells included. This tells us that Republicans have a stronger association with Americana, generally, but also a masculine tilt.

If the Democratic/Republican party were a touch, feel, or texture, which touch, feel, or texture would it be and why?

  • Democrats associated with soft, cozy, and welcoming touches/textures (eg: hug, cotton, massage, suede, felt), indicating the sense of care associated with the party.
  • Republicans strongly associated with rougher, coarse, firm, and electrically charged sensations (eg: sandpaper, corduroy, electric shock, push/shove, punch, dollar slapping you in the face), indicating the sense of strength and masculine associations with the party.

If the Democratic/Republican party were a logo, which logo would it be and why?

  • Democrats associated with a sense of community, lots of color, hands coming together, indicating that the party is strongly associated with diversity, a rainbow coalition and connection.
  • Republicans strongly associated with traditional Americana imagery, along with money, and industry indicating the corporate, patriotic focus of the party.

Tipping points

For Democrats

  • Expecting Republicans to work with them
  • Being so soft
  • Pushing the super extreme stuff
  • Being two-faced and going back on minimum wage promises
  • Putting big tech’s interests over the people
  • Corruption, the Money in Politics
  • With the open borders
  • Coming up with a plan for low/middle class to pay more reasonable taxes; have those with more money pay more because they can afford it
  • Finding a way to provide at least a baseline of decent living for all
  • Tailoring the stimulus according to different means
  • Showing that you’re listening to your constituents
  • Being more transparent
  • Serving the people
  • Establishing some clear rules and policies around immigration
Tipping Point:
  • Get things done
  • Get younger candidates
  • Have long-term vision
  • Ditch career politicians & get money out of politics
  • Show fiscal conservatism
  • Elect a female president
  • Raise minimum wages so ppl can afford homes
  • Guarantee and achieve Healthcare for all
  • Be the party of opportunity
  • Tie policies to the 10 Commandments
  • Weren’t so cliquey and stopped corruption
  • Implement term limits and the law that would make any government mandated act applicable to everyone (politicians included.)

For Republicans

  • Giving tax breaks to the wealthy (I’d like them to transfer the wealth back to the bottom)
  • Being racist
  • Putting big oil’s interests over the people
  • Denying climate change
  • Lying about stolen elections
  • Caring about Black people
  • Wearing face masks, taking COVID seriously
  • Listening to people more and think about people other than themselves
  • Finding a way to provide at least a baseline of decent living for all
  • Caring about income inequality
Tipping Point:
  • Get younger, non-white candidates who didn’t grow up with money
  • Support universal healthcare
  • Establish a $20 minimum wage
  • Run a woman or elect one
  • Reverse Reaganomics
  • Support social programs — esp poverty alleviation
  • Show commitment to the best of their ideals
  • Stop being crazy
  • Give back the tax break
  • Support equality
  • Take climate change seriously
  • Be willing to listen and compromise
  • Had reps who could think on their own
  • Care about all people, not just their people

Dreams for the future – what the electorate says about it

“Nobody will be at the bottom looking up, because everybody will be up, employed, have a meaningful lives, meaningful contributions to society. Everybody would have a better life, healthy economy for everyone.” (Graciela, DMLR)

“Solid, diverse, controlling Climate Change.” (Steve, DMLR)

“I would like to see more equal, more opportunities, more higher wages.” (Karen, RMCR)

“I just want to see a more united United States.” (Joshua, DMLR)

“Just finding compromise. I think having a compromised world in the United States where this sort of thing doesn’t happen, I guess, blending the colors of blue and red together into a purple world, would probably be my ideal thing for the US. Progressive, forward, everyone’s equal, that sort of thing. Basic human rights.” (Kurt, DVLNR)

“I would just like everybody to stop fighting.” (Kaycee, RMCR)

“I would like to see a whole revamp of taxes. Simplified, tax the rich more to help those with fewer resources. I would like to see far more open immigration and support to help people immigrate and move freely, I would like to see way more spent on education.” (Shannon, DVLR)

“I think a party is going to listen to a lot of different people’s ideas, but also create change and go in a different direction from what we’ve seen the last 40 years.” (Ben, IMLR)

“I would love to see a leader come out who would truly want to listen and bring people together and stop yelling.” (Richard, RMCR)

“I would say just a place that continues to be diversified with a lot of people from all over the world and just all of us as Americans being accepting of everybody’s religion and race.” (Joe, DMLNR)

“I just want us to be better. Just better in how things are handled, better in how we can improve ourselves, how we can speak to each other, how we can talk to each other. Just the overall level of respect.” (Sabria, IMR)

Below the surface of the Republican party

As much as the party is known for its ability to stick together, there are signs that cracks below the surface are forming with Republican voters. Here are just a few of the ideas expressed by our voters:

On going it alone and not working with Democrats…

On Their Refusal to Work with Democrats
“Well, they’re all gone because he’s all by himself. I made it. I’m here. I’ve achieved it. But there’s nobody here with him. So congratulations. You crawled up the Rocky Top all by yourself, but now you’re all by yourself. Well, I mean, you’ve achieved that point where you have your moral superiority. All the babies are born and all the moral laws that you want passed are passed, but now you’ve done so much damage in doing this. And like I said, that’s where that that schism is. It tears people apart. And now you’re by yourself, because it’s easy to legislate if you’re the only one that’s there.” (Richard, RMCR)
Could Reach across Aisle to Democrats more often
“The one thing that I think that they could change is if they could learn to work more together with the Democrat Party. Both parties really could learn that but I would like to see that changed.” (Connie, RMCR)
silhouette standing on top a hill

On being ineffective…

Don’t do what they say they will do
“For eight years they kept saying they didn’t like Obamacare. They had eight years to fix that problem or put together a plan, so when they had control they can do something. They didn’t do anything. Okay? They had opportunity to do something with the border for the first two years, Paul Ryan didn’t allow that to happen. Paul Ryan kept saying, Hey, look, I’ll take care of… Trump didn’t know any better. So he said, I’ll take care of you, take care of it. He screwed Trump so he didn’t look out. So the party wasn’t working together, but these people were put in place to do these certain things. And like I said, healthcare, they had eight years to put together a plan. Here it was, they were working on it for another two years. Why they need another two years? Why not just have the plan in place and just drop it on the table first day?” (Rick, RMCR)
shadow yelling at man

On the personality of the party…

“Well, the confrontational demeanor of some of the people in charge and in the Senate. Some of the politicians are a bit more abrasive. I don’t like that. The thing at the Capitol Building, I just wish that Trump had come out immediately and just said like, No, what are you doing? This is just wrong.” (Sheila, RMCR)
“I’m so sick of everybody fighting and the things that people post on social media. I’m so sick of it. I feel like Republicans are so judgmental…If you don’t agree with them, they’re going to nitpick you and attack you. I see a lot more people who are strong Republicans lashing out on a social media – it’s bad. “ (Kaycee, RMCR)
“The Republican party voters, they got really cocky and arrogant. They got loud, they got aggressive… I think those people have always been like that. They finally get a President that’s not so political or correct in the office and they feel like they can just spout out the mouth.” (Brandon, RMCR)
trump rally

On only caring about the rich…

“I do lean Republican because I’m more conservative, but it just seems just over the last few years it’s just more about taking care of the rich and less about the middle class like they claim and also the lower class which they seem to just shove away.

I feel like they represent the middle and lower class because we’re the ones stuck paying the majority of the taxes. I feel the one in the wheelbarrow is the super high rich people – they stay rich for a reason. They get all the money while we’re stuck paying and forking out more in taxes it seems like.” (Karen, RMCR)

car in front of fancy house

On pushing culture wars…

“One thing that does worry me about the Republican party is how anti gay-rights and trans-rights [they are] – all of that kind of stuff irks me. I’m not gay, but it doesn’t hurt me. You know what I mean?” (Jess, RMCR)
“There’s so many people that are so worried about the transgenders in the same bathroom. Those people are going to be so scared that they’re ridiculed by people. They’re not going to be changing in front of you. You remember when you were a teenage girl, and you didn’t even want to change in front of somebody? People just need to relax. Just move more towards accepting people for who they are, instead of trying to change them to fit in your mold.” (Kaycee, RMCR)
“There are times that the party gets too religious for me, okay? Jesus is good for some people, but we’re not a homogeneous country. We’re an immigrant country. We have a lot of people from all over the world, we’re not China that dictates a religion. And that’s what started to happen a little bit. A lot of conservatives talk too much about Jesus.” (Rick, RMCR)
car in the snow

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