Democrats and Republicans with medical origins have long used their MDs to communicate competence, compassion and commitment to service during Congress nominations. But Democrats, in particular, think that the coronavirus pandemic has become a strong point of proof in their argument that the defense of science can be a winning message for the campaign – and some party strategists believe that an advantage is given to candidates with scientific backgrounds, including doctors like Gandhi.
They are drawing contrasts between their nominations and the GOP – namely the president and the Republicans who voted mostly who supported him mostly.
The election of President Donald Trump – and what many perceived as his administration’s attacks on science – sparked democratic efforts to elect more scientists to Congress, with an external group formed in the summer of 2016 to do just that. 314 The action is committed to spending $ 10 – $ 12 million in 2020 through its independent spending arm to elect candidates with STEM backgrounds.
An old message with new resonance
It is not only candidates with a medical background who get the message. For Democratic Nancy Goroff, science is one of the main reasons why she took a leave as president of the chemistry department of Stony Brook University to stand for the Long Island Congress.
“I have just gotten to a point in the past two years that I am so frustrated and infuriated by the way the Republicans, and in particular the Trump administration and our representative here, Lee Zeldin, were ignoring science and ignoring facts and rehearsals and had their positive priorities down and back, that they were hurting people, “said Goroff. “And this was before Covid-19.”
“The current situation has just crystallized the importance of bringing science to Washington much more,” added Goroff.
Zeldin’s campaign claimed that his “record that strongly supports science speaks for itself” in his efforts to fund projects in his district and nationally.
“MP Zeldin, co-president of the National Labs Caucus and member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, continued to offer victory after victory for scientific research in his district, recently securing the Ion Collider multimillion-dollar electron project for Brookhaven National Lab.” , spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said in a note.
“They will know that I am a doctor. They will know that I have my Masters in public health, that I am trained to solve problems,” he said.
McCaul’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment on being “anti-science”.
A winning strategy?
314 The action says that their poll has traditionally shown that voters want leaders who make decisions based on facts – and this is especially true this spring.
“They will have an advantage,” said Matt Canter, a longtime Democratic pollster who works for the group, of candidates with scientific backgrounds.
Before Gandhi and Goroff challenge each other to challenge Republicans, however, both are expected to win competitive primaries presenting 2018 nominees in their districts.
Goroff claims to have seen the salience of the scientific message in her own poll and in the anecdotal conversations she and her volunteers had with voters.
“It’s a stark contrast to the Trump administration,” he said. “I mean, there have already been consequences before. Now, those negative consequences include people dying every day,” he said.
Even if Goroff wins the Democratic nomination, he should still win Trump’s voters in a district he led with 12 points.
“If they still think Trump is a great president, I don’t think I can win them over,” he said. “But there are many people who have buyer’s remorse.”
In the same way that some voters viewed Trump as an anti-establishment candidate, Goroff suggested that voters could see scientists out of the norm. “They also see a scientist as someone who is outside of that partisan war they hate,” he said.
Canter compared the credibility of scientists – and the infrastructure created to help elect them – with success from the party that elects women, veterans and black candidates. “They don’t run ads that say” I’m a woman. “But they talk about their leadership, their approach to service and their willingness to work with people in a credible and attractive way.”
Science as politics
Republicans say they are not afraid of the Democrats who run on science and scoff at the idea that the GOP is “anti-science”.
“If the Democrats weren’t so busy stereotyping groups of people into separate buckets to push their” us against them “narrative, they would have noticed that a large majority of congressional-elected doctors are Republicans,” director of communications for the National Congressional Committee. Republican Chris Pack said in a statement.
One of these is Representative Roger Marshall, who is a Senate candidate in Kansas. It was hot enough in Great Bend, Kansas, one day late last month that the retired obstetrician-gynecologist was thinking of turning on the air conditioning.
“No, I think I’m going to open the door because the sunlight, you know, is really good for keeping the virus low,” he said when CNN caught up with him on the phone.
“It has always preceded the Democrats with facts and science,” said Marshall, indicating the President’s decision to restrict entry into the United States from China.
If he wins the nomination, Marshall will likely face another doctor, Democratic Senator Barbara Bollier, in political elections. “I’ve always been part of this campaign that I’m a doctor,” said the retired anesthesiologist, pointing to the logo of his campaign, which looks like a red and blue double helix. “But what I would say is that the virus has really emphasized more, focused on the problems we have with our system from inequalities,” he said.
Bollier was a republican until about 18 months ago, but claims that the party left her.
“What I’ve seen, certainly in my state-level experience, is that people refuse to actually recognize science and science-based information,” he said.
“There was never anyone he spoke to who said,” Gee, I don’t want you to follow the data. “You know, people don’t, and you can take Covid for example. The same Republicans are saying to the governor: “We need you to have a plan and follow the data for us to have a good plan.” Here it is. I mean, they want it too, at least when they want it. “
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