Why not both? How Biden can win base and swing voters at the same time.

✓ Black and swing voters share similar economic priorities: prices over jobs—common sense at a moment when having a job doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to afford the things you need.

✓ Black and swing voters share similar policy goals: Biden’s accomplishments on healthcare, junk fees, CHIPS, and the deficit are dual-use wins for both base mobilization and voter persuasion, but key voters haven’t heard much about these accomplishments.

✓ Black and swing voters share similar views about Biden’s ideology: 27% of Black voters and 51% of swing voters think Biden is “too liberal,” and less than a fifth of both think he’s too conservative.

✓ Notably, three of the five policies that are most popular with both Black and swing voters are about reducing costs for everyday people. Black and swing voters have not heard about these accomplishments, contributing to the perceptions around Biden’s ideological stance we previously identified.

Blueprint, a new public opinion research initiative designed to study the most crucial voting groups and which policies and messages are breaking through and resonating with them, today released its inaugural poll. The poll indicates that President Biden has critical messaging choices to make around the 2024 election, particularly on whether to focus on jobs or prices, whether to highlight more progressive or more moderate accomplishments, and whether Republicans can successfully be painted as extremists. The survey, which had a sample of 1,063 voters nationwide, was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Blueprint.

On Nov. 7, Blueprint released its inaugural poll on Bidenomics and President Biden’s policy messaging choices. This week, as America sits down at Thanksgiving tables to talk turkey about our country’s future, Blueprint is serving up some new data about how President Biden can make everyone at dinner happy, from his Democratic base to the swingiest swing voters.

As part of our first survey, Blueprint conducted an oversample of 335 Black voters—meaning that we gathered a sample of Black voters that was larger than their relative share of the population to ensure we could make statistically valid claims about their views. In our previously released research, these voters were weighted to their proportional share of the electorate. Black voters are the most reliably Democratic group in the country and make up one in five Democratic voters, but recent polling has set off alarm bells about Black voter enthusiasm around Biden, particularly in key swing states.

Blueprint also conducted an oversample of 301 vote switchers—people who switched their vote at any point between 2018 and 2022 from Republican to Democrat or Democrat to Republican. These are the swingiest of the swing voters, on whom the closest electoral outcomes hang on a knife edge. These voters were also weighted to their share of the electorate in our prior polling, but we examine them in greater detail here.

In the spirit of a harmonious Thanksgiving, we examined these two oversamples at the opposite ends of the Democratic voting coalition for commonalities and shared priorities. How can President Biden shore up his base with staunchly Democratic Black voters while persuading persnickety swing voters? How can he message to both groups at the same time clearly, effectively, and on the basis of his record?

The results of our analysis are surprising and counterintuitive—these voters actually have highly aligned policy priorities, and on many key issues, the messages that appeal to the core of the Democratic base are also persuasive to swing voters.

Indeed, the age-old maxim that Democrats must “mobilize the base” could be resolved simply by acknowledging that our base of Black voters is decidedly moderate on many key issues that appeal to middle-of-the-road swing voters.

Let’s take a closer look.

Black and Swing Voters Share Similar Economic Priorities

On the economy, both Black and swing voters prioritize prices over jobs, with 51% of Black voters and 61% of swing voters identifying prices as their top priority.

The reality is that both base and persuadable voters want the same thing: lower prices, lower prices, lower prices. As our previously released polling indicated, Biden and the Democratic Party need to move their focus away from job creation and onto this critical voter priority. The dual-purpose appeal to the base and to swing voters is crystal clear.

Neither Black nor Swing Voters Believe Biden Is Too Conservative

Rather than indicating that Biden and the Democratic Party need to highlight progressive policies to appeal to Black voters, our polling shows that 27% of Black voters already view Biden as too liberal—that’s one in four Black voters. Only 17% of Black voters view Biden as too conservative—close to the 16% of swing voters who also feel that Biden is too conservative.

That means that Biden has significant room to his right with both Black and swing voters.

Black and Swing Voters Share Similar Policy Goals

Biden can deliver a consistent policy message that wins over both Black and swing voters at the same time, all on the basis of existing accomplishments. There is key support overlap between Black and swing voters on five major Biden policies that appear in the top 10 most popular for both groups:

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug pricing to lower the cost of prescription drugs;
  • Banning companies from charging hidden or misleading “junk fees” for products and services;
  • Passing the bipartisan CHIPS and Science bill to revitalize domestic manufacturing and create jobs;
  • Reducing the federal deficit by $1.7 trillion;
  • Capping insulin at $35 a month for seniors.

However, a third to half of Black and swing voters have not heard of these accomplishments, contributing to the perceptions around Biden’s ideological stance we previously identified and creating an information gap that he would benefit from closing.

When Biden and the Democratic Party highlight these policies—through paid media, earned media, or direct voter outreach—they accomplish the rare political feat of shoring up their base while persuading swing voters. 

This Thanksgiving, the most reliable and least reliable Democratic voters will have plenty in common: they think Biden needs to focus on prices, they feel he’s drifted too far to their left, and he’s not talking enough about the policies they like the most. This rare and significant overlap between base voters and swing voters is a political cornucopia, and Democrats have just under a year to harvest its fruit.