Social Policy & Politics Program | Report
Opportunity and Fairness: Conversations with Swing Voters
Should “economic fairness” should be the dominant frame of this election? While a fairness message may work with liberals, our in-depth look at moderate and Independent voters reveals significant limitations with that approach.
In January and February 2012, we conducted focus groups with swing voters in Richmond, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado, to better understand their perspectives on the economy. We found that while fairness is a value that does matter to these voters, the term’s political meaning remains vague, and it fails to address their deepest economic concerns about America’s and their kids’ future. In short, in their minds fairness does not equal jobs, growth, or economic success. An opportunity framework, however, resonates far more deeply, and appears to offer an optimal appeal to these swing voters.
In this report, we answer two questions:
- What are the limitations of a fairness argument with swing voters?
- What is an alternative framework that appeals to the center?
Free for re-use with attribution. Check out our Issuu library to find embed code for your website or blog.