We all deserve the freedom to make our own decisions, afford what we need and get ahead, but leaders like Governor Reynolds continue to put MAGA Republicans and corporate greed over us. Whether it’s confronting those who attack our freedoms and our country, or making greedy executives like Jeff Bezos pay what they owe, Governor Reynolds fails to stand up for working Iowans. It’s time we hold her and every legislator attacking our freedoms, like the freedom to access abortion, accountable. It’s the only way to afford what we need most, put Iowa back on track, and regain the freedom to get ahead.
Start with a shared values statement.
Name the problem and define the opposition to our shared value. Don’t repeat the opposition, even to negate. Speak proactively to reframe the issue.
Frame the opposition as a “hurdle” we can overcome, rather than a “barrier” that stops us.
Make voters the protagonists and focus on values.
Provide tangible outcomes, and end with a call to action.
Emotion and repetition are powerful tools to use for every message. They help our allies remember the talking points and stay on message, allowing us to speak as a united front and frame the discussion.
Sample message: Freedom to Thrive
|No matter our background or zip code, we value the freedom that comes with calling Iowa home.||Shared Value|
|But our freedoms are being overrun by Governor Reynolds. Working families, public schools, and the Middle Class need help. But Reynolds picked MAGA Republicans and corporate greed over us. She’s taking away our freedom to access abortion, our freedom to learn, and the freedom to afford groceries and a roof over our heads.||Define the opposition, Tie to current events|
|We need leaders who will make Iowa a great place for all of us. Not just the greedy corporations and politicians holding workers and consumers captive.||Call to action, outcomes we can achieve|
Sample message: Democrats Drive the Economy
|Iowans know the economy works best when our elected leaders focus on us. Working families who need a strong local economy.||Shared Value|
|That’s why Democrats are lowering costs for Iowa seniors. Protecting them from price-gouging pharmaceutical companies. Democrats also voted to expand broadband, which helps school kids and will jumpstart small businesses in our towns. These policies are so popular Governor Reynolds tries to take credit for them. But Reynolds opposed the bills helping Iowans. Democrats fought to get them passed.||Call to action, outcomes we can achieve|
|We need leaders who know working families drive the economy and who give us the tools to keep it going.||Call to action, outcomes we can achieve|
Please use our guidance to frame your personal story and unique passion on this issue.
All across Iowa, we value the freedom and independence that comes with living here. In my home town of ___ I have cherished the freedom to an affordable home and to raise my kids in some of the best schools our nation has to offer.
But the freedoms my family and I have treasured for so long are being overrun by Governor Reynolds. Working families, public schools, and the middle class need help. But Reynolds picked MAGA Republicans and corporate greed over us. My generation had endless opportunities after school because we were educated here in Iowa. Today, Iowa kids can’t say the same.
The freedom to learn and the freedom to access abortion are being trampled over by Governor Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature. It’s driving young people away and hurting our workforce.
We need leaders who will make Iowa a great place for all of us. Not just the greedy corporations and politicians holding workers and consumers captive. My family and I are supporting progressives who care about our wellbeing over greedy corporations and MAGA extremists. It’s time we put Iowa back on track.
Key Research Takeaways
We tested several progressive messages and an oppositional message against a placebo. Then, we tested the progressive messages against the opposition message to see how far we can persuade Iowans who have been exposed to the conservative message.
Our best messages are “Freedom to Thrive” and “Democrats Drive the Economy.”
After seeing the opposition message, Freedom to Thrive pulled Iowans toward progressive goals by 10 points.
When Iowans saw the opposition message followed by Democrats Drive the Economy, they chose progressive values by an increase of 4 to 7 points. When Independents and ‘other’ party voters saw the same sequence, they chose progressive values by a margin of 13 points.
Freedom is a key theme this year, activating emotion and loss aversion, motivating us to fight to keep what we have and hold dear. By tying what’s at stake to the MAGA attack on our country and the effort to ban our freedom to access abortions we increase the persuasiveness of our messages.
Additionally, these messages avoid the traps of a conservative frame for the economy, one that claims we should leave it alone. Progressives know that the economy is not like the flu or the wind. It won’t go away or get better by leaving it alone. We invented it and we drive it. We can make it work for everyone if we protect freedoms for all and put working families first.