Gallup Tests A Winning Democratic Message
As I was returning from a business trip these last two days, I noted the Gallup story out today, a project of theirs which apparently was designed to test not only the Democrats’ possible agenda if and when they take power in Congress next January, but also to gauge the success of the GOP’s attempts at smearing Democrats these last two weeks. Gallup took at look at current GOP attack points and the announced Democratic “100 Hours” agenda that Nancy Pelosi put forward and asked adults how likely they felt it was that Democrats would pursue 11 possible items. Some of these purported agenda items are taken from the RNC and the White House in their smear campaigns, such as “repealing the Patriot Act”, legalizing same-sex marriage, and cutting back on the fight against terrorists, and are outright lies and scare tactics from the GOP to fire up its base.
What Gallup found was that adults are very supportive, and think it is likely, that Democrats will pursue the following issues, which are all winners in the remaining days of this campaign:
-Increasing the minimum wage;
-Expand health care insurance to those who don’t have it;
-Let Americans buy prescription drugs imported from other countries;
-Set a time-table for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq;
-Conduct major investigations of the Bush administration; and
-Implement all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
There are several other scare tactic smears that the GOP is using on its base that would be problematic for the Democrats, if they really suggested they would do any of them:
-Reject most of President Bush's nominations for federal judges;
-Increase federal income taxes;
-Repeal the Patriot Act;
-Take steps to make same-sex marriages legal; and
-Cut back on efforts to fight terrorism.
Note that increasing federal income taxes wasn’t tested by Gallup accurately. Democrats have not advocated increasing federal income taxes for all Americans, just those who have seen all the benefits from Bush’s gravy-train tax cuts for the wealthy. The key point in Gallup’s research however, is this:
These results suggest several strategies for both sides in the last days of this year's election campaign. The Republicans would have the highest potential payoff from emphasizing that the Democrats, if elected, would increase federal income taxes and reject administration nominations for federal judges. Both of these are actions that the public already believes the Democrats would take, and both are approved by less than a majority.
The data show that Republicans have a tougher time convincing voters that Democrats would repeal the Patriot Act, take steps to make same-sex marriage legal, and cut back on efforts to attack terrorism. Republicans have already incorporated the assertions that the Democrats would do these things into their strategy. But, the results show that while less than a majority of Americans approve of each of these actions, Democrats will have an easier time countering GOP assertions since the majority of Americans are already disinclined to believe that the Democrats will do these things.
Democrats, on the other hand, have a series of five actions that would look to be winners, given that Americans approve and already believe the Democrats would be likely to do them if elected -- increasing the minimum wage, passing new healthcare legislation, allowing the purchase of prescription drugs from other countries, setting a time-table for withdrawal from Iraq, and conducting investigations of the Bush administration.
That last paragraph my friends, along with a reminder to voters that Social Security will be endangered by a GOP congress next year, should be the Democrats whole campaign message these last two weeks.
And while they are at it, Democrats can also remind voters that Bush seemingly believes that most voters want to keep our troops in Iraq, to fight an enemy that Bush delusionally thinks attacked us on 9/11. If Bush actually thinks that only 25% of the country wants a timetable for withdrawal, then Rove really has kept him successfully in a bubble of ignorance these last three years.