Take that, GOP!  A newly released poll, “Moral Dilemma: Which Morals?”, conducted by Westhill Partners/The Hotline should give pause to those who fear having the Democratic Party push a “values-oriented platform” in upcoming election cycles.

Which political party – (ROTATE) the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party – do you think better shares your values?

  Democratic:  44%
  Republican:  40%

And there’s plenty more to be pleased about in the results, some surprising, others less so.  There’s definitely stuff here that can be gainfully exploited to prevent the GOP from trying to ram through a social agenda which the American people do not support.

More below.
I won’t attempt too much of a detailed analysis, since the poll results should basically speak for themselves.  Analysis was conducted by Ed Reilly (Dem) and Ed Rollins (Rep), so there shouldn’t be any overt partisan bias in the presentation.  In addition to the written summary linked to above, there is also a series of graphical representations available, as well as the full questionnaire, showing the complete percentage breakdowns.  If anything, the poll sample was slightly biased in favor of self-described Bush voters (a 9% edge over Kerry).

I’d encourage everyone to go look at the results for themselves, but for those who may not have the time or desire to do so, here are some of the items that jumped out at me.  From the summary:

When asked to elaborate on which values are specifically shared, a plurality of those who sided with Democrats say that the value of economic equality/helping the poor/helping less fortunate was most attractive.  Alternatively, of those who said the GOP better shares their values, a plurality of voters state that a dedication to family/traditional values is what they share with the Republican Party.  (Emphasis added.)

How that plays out on what was supposed to have been a defining issue for the GOP can be seen here:

Questioner:  I am now going to read you a set of two values – while both may be important to you, sometimes we have to choose one value over another. If you absolutely HAD to choose between each of the following two values, which one would you say is more important to you personally:  Values involving the issue of gay marriage in this country, or, values involving the issue of poverty in this country?

  Gay marriage: 12%
  Poverty: 86%

Interestingly, there was no statistical difference by party affiliation in the response to this question.

When asked of different values that our nation’s leaders should promote, “promoting ethics and honesty” was by far the one most often selected by respondents, with 86% naming it as “very important” (all other choices came in between 54% and 60%).  Democrats were perceived as better representing this value by a margin of 10% ahead of either Bush or the GOP.  For another value deemed very important by 54%, “encouraging greater tolerance”, Democrats held an edge of over 40%.  Not too shabby.

I’m sure some could find a lot more to be happy about here, while others may be rather skeptical about the usefulness of these results.  Feel free to comment, kvetch, laud, etc., not only on these results and on the non-values sections of the poll (more bad news for Bush and the GOP, as expected), but also on values issues more generally.

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