A new Democratic group is trying to make sure the Midwest doesn't equate Democrats with 'socialism'

Protesters in Pennsylvania protest against Bernie Sanders
(Image credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

A new Democratic political group, Future Majority, has launched with a $60 million mission to help rebrand the Democratic Party before the 2020 election, especially in Midwestern states that have been leaning more Republican in recent elections, Politico reports. The nonprofit will offer strategic advice to other Democratic groups, as it started quietly doing leading up to the 2018 midterms, and do its own branding and communications efforts, including countering conservative messaging.

The Democratic Party is trying to figure out its own identity, and Future Majority seems to have an opinion on that battle. "It's no great secret that the presidential race will be won or lost in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio — if we can win back the narrative that the word 'Democrat' equals people who are fighting for folks who work hard every day, we can continue to win elections," says executive director Mark Riddle. "If [Democrats] get defined as being about socialism and these other words people can hear about out of Washington, then I worry."

It isn't just about distancing Democrats from words like socialism, though — Future Majority also wants to associate the party with words like "freedom" and "opportunity," Politico says. Based on Midwestern focus groups, Future Majority said in a March memo, "there is an opening to defeat Trump with the right candidate and the right message, but Democrats must rehabilitate their image in these states first," the memo reads. That means focusing on a few top issues, not a "laundry list" of proposals, and calling government spending "investments," for example, "so voters can see that their tax money is being put to good use." You can read more about Future Majority, its staff and advisers, and its funding at Politico.

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