Dem pollster says party’s candidates are connecting more with voters on local issues


Democratic pollster Pia Nargundkar said on Friday that Democrats are working to appeal to voters on local issues in the 2018 midterms as opposed to focusing on opposition to President Trump. 

“I think Gretchen Whitmer is a great example of Democrats this cycle really focusing on local issues that matter to voters there,” Nargundkar, senior associate at ALG Research, told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons on “What America’s Thinking,” referring to the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Michigan. 

“I know Whitmer’s slogan is ‘Fix the damn roads.’ That has nothing to do with Trump, it has nothing to do with all of these partisan issues. It hits voters [with] what concerns them,” she continued. 

“I’m seeing Democrats turning more and more to that this cycle,” she said. 

A Detroit Free Press poll released on Thursday found that Whitmer was leading her Republican opponent, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, by 5 points. 

Trump won Michigan, a traditionally Democratic stronghold, in the 2016 presidential election.

Nargundkar said Democratic candidates could be rebuilding the blue wall by connecting with voters on local issues.   

“Part of the reason the blue wall crumbled was [because] support among non-college, white voters really crumbled for Democrats, and so gaining back those voters will be critical this election,” she said. “I see Democrats are talking more to the voters, really connecting with them.”

— Julia Manchester

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