Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
Soccer moms, NASCAR dads and Reagan Democrats are all old news. This year an emerging new group will decide the outcome in November: problem-solving voters (PSVs). That's the conclusion of a new No Labels poll finding that 54 percent of American voters are more likely to support candidates focused on solving problems than those who align most with their parties. And these voters are up for grabs too as PSVs are twice as likely as other voters to change their minds about who should be president between now and November.
Problem-solving voters recognize that the magnitude of challenges facing our country are too serious for a continuation of the partisan bickering and gridlock that has dominated our politics for too long. They want real solutions, and candidates who think they can get by in this election purely by throwing red meat to their bases do so at their own peril.
Candidates from all parties running for all levels of elected office will have to appeal to this significant voting bloc if they hope to win in November. As you might expect, 94 percent of independent voters are PSVs. More surprising is that 30 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Republicans identify as PSVs as well. Even the partisans are getting tired of all this hyper-partisanship.
PSVs also understand it will take bipartisanship to solve any of our country's deepest problems. That's why more than eight in 10 voters (84 percent) want candidates who will work across the aisle to find solutions to our country’s problems.
For years, politicians and pundits have assumed that beyond their bases, they are only competing for a narrow band of independent voters. This year may well be different, with significant margins of Democrats and Republicans showing an openness to candidates more focused on solutions than ideology. PSVs are a new and fast growing voting category, but they share at least one characteristic with almost all voters. The vast majority of PSVs believe America is on the wrong track and they want problems addressed, not just more politics. They're on to something. Candidates beware.