Voters describe issues that fire them up, turn them off

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Steve Jordahl (

"I voted today" t-shirtThe midterm elections are months away, and the country seems as divided as ever, but a veteran pollster says there are issues that voters care about.

A candidate heading into the 2018 midterms has a conundrum. The country is so polarized right now that if you looking to stir up your base in a General Election by being a strong 2nd Amendment advocate, or a vocal supporter of President Trump, you're just as likely to stir up equal anger on the other side to campaign hard against you.

Speaking to OneNewsNow, longtime pollster George Barna says his latest survey of 1,000 likely voters finds what issues they care about – and the issues that turn them off.

voting in America"There are probably about four issues," he says, "that seem like people across the political spectrum care about: the performance of government, the quality of governance that we get, gun policy, Donald Trump, and crime and violence."

The political advice, he says, is to avoid those issues when reaching out to a broader voting base.

Instead, Barna says, a candidate should find issues that your base and those in the middle care about - but your political opponents don't really rate as highly important.

Trump "cuts" red tape"If you're a conservative and you're trying to reach moderates," Barna advises, "there are three particular issues that both conservatives and moderates care a lot about [but] liberals don't: taxes, jobs, national defense and terrorism."

Issues that fire up the conservative base but not moderates are immigration, religious freedom, and the moral decline of the country.

He observes however, that most voters don't spend the time educating themselves on any issue and are most likely to vote out of emotion – "I hate Trump" or "I like that candidate's TV commercial."

"People are responding to that because it's, frankly, a lot easier to vote emotionally than to vote intelligently," Barna warns.

Don't be that guy, he adds.

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