Many Americans are reminiscing over Trump’s days in office, creating a messaging hurdle for Democrats. People discuss how Biden’s administration could change its message to counter Trump nostalgia.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
People already have a sense of what Trump’s campaign message will sound like. “He will cite as facts: less inflation, greater real income, less crime and lawlessness, no overseas wars in Europe or in the Middle East, and our institutions weren’t infected by a woke agenda,” one person said.
A slew of recent polls suggest that Americans agree with this message. Many felt their life was better under Trump’s leadership than it is now. While they may not like Trump, they dislike Biden more.
Some thought that Trump’s legal troubles would cause people to change their minds as the election approaches. “If people are not willing to come out and vote against a man who has been indicted four times for 100 felonies then democracy has failed,” one person remarked.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Others weren’t so sure the indictments would be enough to change public sentiment. “I don’t agree with that necessarily,” one person responded. “I’m a prosecutor and no fan of Trump, but an indictment is just an accusation until there is a conviction.”
Biden’s Safer America
If Biden wants to defeat Trump in 2024, many feel he’ll need to do more than point out Trump’s criminal record. Some thought he should talk about the nation’s crime rates which have decreased over his time in office.
A voter pushed back on that idea, though. “Compare now to any time in Trump’s term before the pandemic, and the crime rate is substantially higher,” they said. “The spike in 2020 has a clear set of causes, and they’re unrelated to Trump.”
“If you try to tell anybody that crime is down overall, people will say you’re lying and point to videos of people walking out of Walgreens without paying,” another person added. “Crime statistics are abstract, videos of crimes actually occurring are visceral and stay with a person.”
Several other people thought Biden should spend time talking about inflation. “Inflation is lowest in the US,” one person noted, stating that it’s much higher in the rest of the Western world.
Bills Speak Louder Than Biden
Others thought that was a bad idea. “If Dems run on ‘inflation is down’…they are cooked,” said one commenter. “No adult is looking at their bills and agreeing inflation is down.”
Bring Up Bipartisan Wins
“Biden should tout his bipartisan legislative achievements (CHIPS, IRA, gun safety, etc.),” another person suggested. The CHIPS Act was especially well regarded on both sides of the aisle, and many noted that it hasn’t been touted enough.
Give Us the Plan
A few people thought that Biden needed to spend more time laying out his plan for a second term. “Biden needs to actually propose transformative policies he would push for in a second term if he has a trifecta,” one person said. “Finish off Build Back Better, bring back the Child Tax Credit & make it permanent, expand the ACA with a public option, etc.”
Doing the Work
Some believed that Biden needed to admit that things weren’t great but make it clear he was the man to fix it. “If the Biden admin were to lean into the message of ‘things are hard, but we’re doing the work,’ it would be a fantastic setup,” one person suggested.
Not a Messaging Issue
Some commenters said no amount of messaging was going to change voter’s views on Biden, though. “Millions of Americans are also convinced that Biden isn’t aging well,” one person pointed out.
Things Need To Change
Others thought the economy would need to change before ballots are cast for Biden to stand a chance. “Biden needs inflation (and really fuel prices) to get low and stay low long enough for Americans to feel they are on the upswing,” said one commenter.
Biden’s Bound To Win
A few Biden supporters weren’t worried about Trump nostalgia or the polls that suggest it exists. “I’m a person who voted for Trump in 2020 and will 100% be voting for Biden if he’s on the ballot,” an American explained. “None of these pollsters have called me. I suspect there are a lot of these quiet defectors.”
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