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ICYMI: Vox Features Public Safety and Crime Research Study by HIT Strategies and Change Research 

Memo Outlines Pathway for Democrats to Lead on Public Safety and Defend Against GOP Crime Attacks 

Washington, DC | October 20th – In case you missed it, Vox recently featured the results of HIT Strategies and Change Research’s extensive research and message study on public safety and crime issues ahead of the midterms. The article, and the associated memo, describe the substantial support for public safety alternatives and how Democrats can effectively message these solutions in the face of increasingly racist GOP crime attacks.  

Read the key points from the article 

Vox: The defense Democrats aren’t using against Republicans’ soft-on-crime attacks  
Vox Media | Nicole Narea | October 18th   

Key points 

·       “Democrats need to approach this head-on and no longer run from it. Voters are receiving fear-based messaging because Democrats haven’t defined our stance,” said Ashley Aylward, a research manager at HIT Strategies. “So once we can explain that approach by focusing on the positive message that centers on investment in the community and on solutions, then I think it would really set us up for a much better pathway than avoiding the topic altogether.”  

  • It’s clear Democrats need to find a way to rebut Republican attacks; if they’re going to try out the strategy developed by Aylward and her colleagues, however, they will need to act quickly to make a meaningful difference in poll numbers before the November elections.  
  • In part due to disparate levels of trust in the police, the groups recommend candidates focus their messaging on the solutions rather than laying blame at the feet of police. They propose specific language for candidates to use, such as saying that “it’s just common sense that police are not the right answer to every single problem,” that there are “better-suited first responders for certain emergencies,” and that “spending limited city budgets on flooding the streets with cops” won’t address the root causes of crime.   
  • “We think that by re-engaging in this conversation and actually working on the problem that turned out so many folks, we’d be able to bring them out to vote in this election or the next,” Aylward said. In fact, the pollsters found that — much as was the case in the wake of Floyd’s killing — there is a real audience for proposals to divert some police funding to first responders, education, anti-poverty measures, and housing. When given a choice between that option and maximizing funding to police departments, the firms found that 62 percent of Americans supported funding the alternatives. (That’s more than the 47 percent of Americans who supported reallocating police funding to social programs in a 2020 Gallup poll.)   

About HIT Strategies 
As Washington’s leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion research company, HIT Strategies helps progressive leaders and organizations translate the values and attitudes of target audiences into real-time insights. We understand America’s fastest-growing electorate and consumer groups and specialize in targeting communities under-represented in public opinion, including Black Americans, Latino Americans, Millennials + Genz, LGBTQ+, Women, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Visit and follow @HITStrat on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information.  

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