CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS: Media Consultants Weigh the Right Message for 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 10:45am

It’s the most difficult environment in a generation. 

The issue matrix has shifted dramatically from a few months ago when the environment was among voters’ top concerns — and could shift again before November. 

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Nuance isn’t something all practitioners are advocating for right now. In fact, Ashlee Rich Stephenson, a VP and national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has a clear messaging strategy for incumbents. 

She said it's critical they highlight their work on passing major pieces of pandemic relief legislation, including the CARES Act. 

“It will be a swing and a miss for any senators and incumbents who don’t define their work related to CARES and PPP,” the Small Business Administration loan program contained in the legislation that subsequently received additional funding.

Rich Stephenson noted that the "gold standard" on this has been GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing a tough reelection bid. 

"She was the first one to switch out her messaging to make it focusing on the CARES Act and the pandemic," she said. 

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