Tags: trump | midterms | democrats | generic ballot | marketing

The Generic Ballot Doesn't Matter for Midterms — It's the Marketing

The Generic Ballot Doesn't Matter for Midterms — It's the Marketing
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport on July 29, 2018, in Morristown, New Jersey, after spending the weekend at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

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Monday, 30 July 2018 03:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With just about everyone who follows politics analyzing the generic ballot, chances are high that it has lost its effectiveness in predicting midterm elections in the House and Senate.

The reason for this once bellwether predictor’s lack of efficacy may lie, first, in this simple truth — the political world has changed under Donald Trump. The old rules do not apply.

Second, the logic is all wrong regarding the attitudes of the midterm voters, who have been identified as the “suburban woman,” someone who can be persuaded by “Democratic Speak” in districts where Hillary Clinton beat President Trump.

And third, rumors of the “blue wave” are greatly exaggerated and is more “wishful thinking” on the part of registered Democrats, Democratic Party leaders, and partisan media types who are rooting for a phenomenon that in reality may never happen.

Let’s consider the Trump Factor. The general rule of thumb that every “talking head” whose historical references begin at the year 2000 will quickly remind us that a newly elected president is expected to lose their party’s seats in the House and Senate to the opposition.

What they fail to mention are the exceptions — Roosevelt in 1934 (The Great Depression) and Bush in 2002 (9/11 Attack). Both are unusual periods in our history.

One could argue we are in a similar period where the public may perceive a need for consistency in handling needed change in order to Make America Great Again. The recent GDP numbers only reinforce this argument and the possibility that this indeed could happen.

Targeting suburban women in districts won by Hillary is a smart move for Democrats. The issue becomes whether they are disciplined enough to hold their respective democratic issues with messaging targeted to suburban women, not the activist ones that are currently doing all the talking.

The Democratic talking points of eliminating ICE, the need for socialism in their lives, and more changes in their healthcare coverage, are not likely winning issues.

The best advice for Democrats — which they will never take — is to remind themselves it’s not about them, but all about their voters. This means identifying what each district wants and then communicating to them how they are going to solve their personal “needs requirements.”

It also requires giving constituents what they ask for, even though they may not like their request. This is something that is antithetical to the party regulars who would rather be right than to compromise a value. Avoiding the patronizing idea, that “you don’t know what’s good for you, but we do,” is simply something that Democrats will never accept and will translate into less than positive results for their hard work and persistent efforts.

The Blue Wave and how energized Democrats are in defeating President Trump is another possible fallacy for Democratic regulars. Has anyone considered that there may be a ceiling for Trump’s dislike in the country, or what some like to call Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

Could it be that this intense dislike of President Trump may, in fact, be simply over-hyped and merely the opinion of the vociferous angry few rather than the silent happy majority?

If we know anything about human behavior we know one thing — we don’t like being around angry people. This means that angry individuals for all “intents and purposes” can’t motivate but can alienate. Angry people are not good at convincing others to do something new or to persuade another to vote.

Perhaps focusing attention on ever-energetic youngsters — great in theory, but not so much in practice — is worthy of consideration. But this elusive group is easily not a predictable base unless the candidate has Obama-like charisma.

The secret to winning the 2018 midterms is satisfying the needs of the voters in each of the congressional districts. This means using de-centralized marketing and branding, not a central controlling nationwide idea. And it’s not about using models of a bygone era. The party that realizes this will be reminded that it’s always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.

Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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With just about everyone who follows politics analyzing the generic ballot, chances are high that it has lost its effectiveness in predicting midterm elections in the House and Senate.
trump, midterms, democrats, generic ballot, marketing
771
2018-11-30
Monday, 30 July 2018 03:11 PM
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