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Democrats' communication problem

Despite "$1,400 stimulus checks, increased unemployment insurance, greater subsidies for health care exchanges, and a child tax credit program," — all of which were passed on a party-line vote as part of their American Rescue Plan — Democrats worry they're failing to communicate such initiatives to voters, who might not realize who is responsible for the extra cash in their pockets when they head to the ballot box in 2022, McClatchy reports.

Part of the awareness problem is likely just the state of the world at the moment. "These things get lost in the shuffle so fast," said Bradley Beychok, a veteran Democratic strategist. "It's not political malpractice, it's that we're living in a crazy world. And when delta comes back, people aren't thinking about what the government has given them." Case in point — despite the influx of government assistance, "57% of voters said the Biden administration has not done anything that has benefited them personally, according to a new Daily Kos/Civiqs poll," writes McClatchy.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) told McClatchy he was disappointed to find voters knew "a little, but not a lot" about Democrats' agenda during a trip around his home state in August. "It goes back to kind of an old formulation that while you're legislating, you're not communicating," said Casey. "I think it's very difficult, when you're a governing party, to do both well."

Luckily, strategists and lawmakers still have time to remedy the awareness gap, but they'll need to do so before midterms next year. "If two months before an election, people don't know what Democrats had done or if they thought Democrats hadn't done anything, it'd be a different issue," said Nick Ahamed, deputy executive director of super PAC Priorities USA. "So we're spending the next year resolving that." Read more at McClatchy.