Race Class Narrative Based Messages - General Talking Points

They’re Effective. These messages have been tested repeatedly by numerous campaigns and organizations, and they’re working. They repeatedly outperform both conservative messages and race-blind economic populist messages, in polling and in practice.

They tell our story, on our issues, and with our values. Too many Democrats have tried adopting conservative issues and stories. This framework lets us tell our own story on our own issues, giving voters substantive, clear reasons to support our candidates.

They motivate our base, persuade the middle, and turn off the opposition. The research grouped participants into three broad segments, and found that these messages were effective with both the base and middle, and turned off the opposition. Strong, somewhat polarizing, memorable, and persuasive messages like these are necessary to cut through the noisy media environment that campaigns occur in.

They unite people. Research shows that people are feeling an acute sense of division in our  country right now, so a story about purposeful division based on race lands in a way that might have seemed conspiratorial or inside baseball even a few years ago. They resonate with real people and their lived experiences right now, and when you start using them, you’ll witness this reaction immediately.

They draw clear distinctions. We’ve identified that persuadables are toggling between regressive and progressive racial narratives in their heads; the right is working to activate the former; we are either countering that with a progressive racial narrative or we're off the playing field, ceding the terrain.

They’re simple. The basic format of these messages has three parts. They start with a shared value, then name a specific villain engaged in deliberate division, and end by offering an aspirational path forward. Based on the examples we’re providing, you’ll be able to generate more of your own based on this simple formula.

They’re generative and broadly applicable. The basic value-villain-path format can be applied to almost any issue, from gun safety to foreign policy to fair economics.