Democrats’ Secret Weapon: Romney Voters

we’ve obsessed about Obama-Trump voters but completely ignored their inverse: the Romney-Clinton voters.

.. Romney-Clinton voters are, generally speaking, college-educated suburban professionals: lawyers, doctors and businesspeople. They voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but switched to Hillary Clinton in 2016. They abhor xenophobia, the alt-right and racists, but they also mostly socialize within their own race and they’re mostly white. They’re socially liberal but not obsessed with a political agenda. They value fiscal responsibility but also believe in investing in the future, especially education. They remain deeply worried about Trump’s qualifications, scared about his temperament and alienated by his misogyny and ties to extremists. For the first time in a long time, they’re willing to hear about and vote for Democrats.

..  Studies show that upper-income and highly educated Americans are substantially more likely to cast ballots, potentially posing a decisive factor in the upcoming midterm elections.

.. Throughout the country, Clinton won key communities that have historically been written off by Democrats as too conservative—places like California’s Orange County, Utah’s Salt Lake County, Texas’ Fort Bend County and Georgia’s Gwinnett and Cobb Counties. Opportunities are blossoming in all these places and many more like them throughout the country, and Romney-Clinton voters can be the deciding factor.

.. Perhaps you remember Clinton’s TV ads, many of which simply showed people—children, especially—watching clips of Trump’s speeches, wide-eyed at the bombast they were witnessing. Our internal testing showed that those spots were particularly effective among Romney voters who were leaning to Clinton. There was a deliberate strategy behind the “show don’t tell” approach of letting Trump speak for himself: Highly educated Americans were often skeptical of advertising with overstated or undocumented claims, but were very open to evaluating Trump on his own words and deeds.

.. As elected Republicans stand by their man, inhabiting roles that vary between rubber stamps and accomplices, they risk permanently turning off this major segment of the electorate that has voted Republican in the past, but cannot stomach Trump and those who enable him.

.. Obama-Trump voters may see the infrastructure plan in terms of its ability to create jobs, while Romney-Clinton voters see infrastructure’s appeal in boosted productivity and reduced amounts of time wasted each week stuck in rush-hour traffic.