Project & Stakeholder Overview

For the last year, we—Demos, Anat Shenker-Osorio (ASO Communications) and Ian Haney López (author of Dog Whistle Politics), —have partnered in an ambitious multi-phase project to build an effective new narrative on race, class, and democracy. The central question we’ve explored is how to engage simultaneously around race and class in ways that strengthen social solidarity, reduce division and scapegoating, and create a viable foundation for progressive policy victories. We crafted, empirically validated, and field-tested a range of narratives and compared these to existing frames.

Lake Research Partners, in collaboration with ASO Communications and Brilliant Corners Research and Strategy, designed and implemented this survey in March 2018. Narratives were tested online with 1,500 adults plus oversamples of 100 African Americans, 100 Latinos, 100 millennials, 100 drop-off voters, and 100 unlikely voters. Lines show moment-to-moment reactions to an audio recording by our base, opposition, persuadables, and advocates. People dialed positively (above 50) when they had a favorable reaction to the words, and negatively (below 50) for an unfavorable reaction. The number in parentheses represents the mean dial rating for that passage. Words in bold were especially effective. Beyond the national work profiled here, we also conducted analytic, qualitative, and quantitative research in California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio.