Which political stances are vote-gainers and which are vote-losers?

In this thread, I would like to sidestep the issue of right vs. wrong, and just discuss instead which political stances gain votes and which lose votes today.
It appears that on abortion, being slightly pro-choice is the way to win votes.

On gun control, supporting strict gun control is becoming a vote-loser, but the spree of shootings has made gun supporters look bad too. Another issue for candidates to mostly zip their mouths on.

Labor unions are losing popularity.

On LGBT, being pro-LGBT isn’t necessarily a vote-winner, but *opposing *LGBT has become a vote-loser.

At the same time, there is an increasing backlash against identity politics, political correctness, and the political fads-of-the-day at university campuses.

Illegal immigration appears to be up and down from election to election. Right now it’s on the down - supporting amnesty will likely get backlash, but by 2020 that could go up again.

There is also a backlash against complexity in general. People want politicians who talk short, straight and simple - like Trump and Bernie, even if what they say isn’t necessarily true - as opposed to rehearsed, polished politicians who will go into great length and detail but can’t fit their proposals into neat, 5-second sound bites.

On foreign policy, voters don’t want any more wars, although they do still want some fighting against ISIS, and strict pacifism is a sure vote-loser. Some isolationism, but not too much, also seems to be the in thing.

I think there is now less resistance to increasing taxes on the wealthy than almost ever before.

Tell that to Mike Sylvester. The longtime union organizer, and still fervent union supporter who was just elected by a margin of 82/18.

The vaguest political stances are the best vote-getters. Take any 15 point plan versus “get a bunch of smart people together and fix it” (or the more modern version “it’s gonna be fantastic you’re gonna love it”). Most people will take the second one.

I feel like labor unions are making a comeback. Its part of the whole populist trend.

I would summarize this as anti-war but pro-military.

I’d be curious where that feeling is coming from. Union membership is down, right-to-work is solidly entrenched in over half the states, the NLRB has been half empty for years, etc. And the populist movement isn’t currently parallel with union support these days; unions have been pretty successfully cast as part of the “establishment”.

Regarding the OP, probably one of the biggest losers the Democrats won’t let go of is voter ID. Yes, I’m aware it’s not much of a real problem that needs solving. But most people buy in to the concept. If they had any brains they would go along with voter ID and just make it conditional on increasing easy access to the proper ID.

Not true.

Pro-lifers are less likely than pro-choicers to vote for a pro-choice candidate than are pro-choicers for a pro-life candidate, and pro-choicers are more likely than pro-lifers to say that abortion isn’t a major concern when voting for a candidate. The result is a net for the pro-life candidate, and it’s been true for decades.

We’ll have to wait for this election’s numbers, but don’t expect that to be any different this year.

The point OMGABC is making is key.

The way to measure what gains or loses votes is not in how much support a stance has, but in to what extent people will change their votes on that basis. So depth of support can sometimes trump breadth.

On related note, it’s also worth noting that there’s a cumulative impact of various positions. Meaning, as person might be strongly inclined to vote for the more liberal/conservative candidate. Sometimes no one issue is a huge deal, but each is part of what positions the candidate in their spot on the liberal/conservative spectrum.

Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that the same issues can be vote winners in one area and vote losers and vote losers in another. The can impact people who are very successful in local elections with one stance but find this same stance a handicap when they try to run for offices in a broader area.

Ah yes - I should have added that one.

To many if not most centrists, requiring someone to show an ID to vote *sounds *very reasonable (granted, there may be many obstacles to getting an ID, but to many centrists, these obstacles aren’t easily seen or apparent, and so the people who say that voter ID should *not *be required sound dangerously naive). It’s one of those things that can set off alarm bells inside centrist voter’s heads; “No ID? Then how do you know that someone walking in to vote isn’t fraudulent?” etc. etc. - regardless of how often voter fraud actually *does *or doesn’t occur.

But to some on the political left, it’s a hill they want to die on.

I’m not sure that one election in the Maine House of Representatives District 39 tells us a whole lot about the national mood.

Pro-lifers are also less educated than pro-choice people (NB I’m a highly educated hardline pro-lifer, so this isn’t supposed to be a criticism) and are thereby less likely either to vote or to be influential among opinion-making circles. The country as a whole is split about half-and-half regarding abortion issues, but pro-lifers should expect to have much less political influence than their raw numbers indicate, which means that what Velocity says is true.

I think pro-life is a net vote gainer. So many single issue voters based on pro-life. Very few for pro-choice. They may consider it important, but as part of the whole package, while on pro-life side, it is all that matters.

I haven’t seen anyone mention climate change yet. What does the group think? Is being the greener candidate a vote gainer or loser?

I think that “We need to fight climate change” is a slight vote loser, for the time being, because it is something that 1) does not yet strongly resonate with mainstream America and also 2) has connotations of white-lab-coat, tree-hugging, a bit arrogantly scientific environmentalism.
However, I think that fighting pollution and toxins tends to get strong support. IMHO, environmentalists would score far more points by reframing their argument in terms of “Let’s get toxins and pollution out of our drinking water and air” rather than “carbon emissions,” etc. Americans often like environmentalism if it’s framed that way.

On the topic of capital punishment, I think it’s still a vote-gainer. There is still a strong gut urge for retributive justice in America.

In the USA, it is probably a net vote-loss because people see fighting climate change as costing jobs/hurting the economy. In Canada, I think it would was a vote-gain the last election, but maybe not in the next election. I predict there’s going to be a big push against climate change from the Conservatives next election because of the unpopular carbon tax being put in place up here, and I have little doubt it will gain them votes.

In a purely myopic sense the right-wing / populist stance will always win for the reasons given by ** Oh My God A Black Conservative**.

What seems to happen is that left-wing people shift their principles on some issues so long as other issues result in their personal gain or at least not loss. They will vote keeping their job over losing it, they will vote pro-life if it means that their tax bracket doesn’t change for the worse.

We, on the left, are 10-ply soft.

What seems to happen is the left takes power for a little bit and then myopia takes over and the right takes over. After a decade or so enough of the soft right sees that things are going wrong and they move left.

The hard right and the hard left will never change their positions. The soft-left will switch more readily than the soft-right because there is more incentive for them to do so.

There are no absolute vote getters or absolute vote losers.

It is all marketing to the myopia of the time.

Trump - objectively - spewed more bullshit than pretty much any meaningful politician ever. In spite of this he gets credit for speaking the truth, being a straight shooter, anti-elitist etc.

Clinton - objectively - spewed significantly less bullshit than Trump but she was seen as dishonest and shady and elitist.

This last election has proved that what is said is less important than the way it is said.

I predict that Trump (if he is still alive and wants to run again) will win in 2020 and if Trump doesn’t run then Pence will kill in 2020 (if he is still alive and wants to run.)

The Democrats will win by a landslide in 2024 (if we are still alive.)

In a nutshell the vote getters are what people will generally see as benefitting them and those issues are taxes and jobs.

The right always argues low taxes mean more jobs and a better economy so more prosperity.

The left always argues that taxes fund more services which lead to a “healthier citizenry” which leads to more production and more consumption which leads to more jobs which leads to a better economy which means more prosperity.

Everything other than jobs, economy and prosperity is window dressing.

Yes. Replace “can sometimes” with “will almost always.”

It was stupid that the Hillaryists attacked Sanders for supporting rural hunting rifles even though Sanders has voted for gun control. The Democrats should have taken a more neutral gun position or ignored the issue altogether. Such stupidities cost the election.

I think the biggest mistake that gets made is attaching too much importance to some issues, too little to others. Here’s a series of polls showing what voters name as the most important issue. The economy and jobs always get lots of vote, as does government and reform in general. Race relations does too right now, though in the long term not so much I think. In contrast, abortion, gay rights, and gun control are #1 for virtually no one.

There’s a disconnect in that these are all-consuming issues for many in the Manhattan media elite bubble. Writing about those issues may earn clicks, but pounding the table and promising to force Catholic charities to pay for birth control won’t bring in any meaningful number of votes. In 2014, Mark Udall, Democratic Senate incumbent in Colorado, ran a campaign that was bizarrely obsessed with women’s crotches. He lost. Likewise Mike Bloomberg’s attempt to push gun control nationwide has lead to failure after failure.

Gun control is the same thing. Only 36% of households have a gun, so the majority of people wouldn’t be negatively affected by stronger gun regulations. But many of those 36% see gun ownership as a danger to their well being.