Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Affairs (MoPA)


College of Arts and Sciences


Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

First Advisor

Tim Redmond

Second Advisor

Donnie Fowler


The aftermath of the election revealed that the Democratic Party made critical errors and had structural issues that made executing our messaging more difficult. The Democratic Party needs to return to a set of principles that prioritizes all people and their wellbeing to win elections. What do Democrats and progressives need to fix so they can deliver better messages? To better understand the dynamics that impact the Democratic Party’s capacity to create messaging I believe one must look at the relationship between the Democratic Party as an institution and the art of political messaging. The research of this paper focuses on how we measure voter sentiment, how we identify who our voters are and how our organizing philosophy impacts our message. The Democratic party and candidates need to commit to long term investments in technology and staff, a different organizing strategy, broad representation in candidates and leadership. We will be a stronger party, capable of enacting a progressive policy agenda if we can learn from the past, correct our mistakes and commit to a new operational and structural changes to our party.