In recent election cycles, a rightward shift among white Southerners, and in some cases the loss of African-American supporters through racial redistricting, turned many long-held Democratic districts in the South red. Kentucky is an excellent example of this shift in voting behavior. Even though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, the GOP controls the Governor's mansion, most other statewide elected offices, both chamber of the state legislature, and all but one of Kentucky's congressional seats. To win back those seats, Democrats in states like Kentucky will need to appeal to conservative voters. Unfortunately, little scholarly research directly addresses the practical question they need to answer: How can Democratic candidates attract right-leaning voters without sacrificing their credibility among voters on the left? On the basis of survey research conducted in Kentucky's 6th Congressional district during the 2018 midterm election, this paper argues that conservative voters respond positively to some crossover messaging from Democratic candidates, particular with respect to social issues.
Fain, B. Gammon
"Red Dog, Blue Dog, Yellow Dog: How Democrats Can Use Strategic Communications to Attract Republican and Conservative Voters,"
Commonwealth Review of Political Science: Vol. 4:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/crps/vol4/iss1/6