According to James Carville and Stanley Greenberg of the Democracy Corps which provides public opinion polling and strategic advice to Democrats, the “foul mood” doesn’t necessarily translate into gains for Democrats.
Read the Carville/Greenberg interview in the June 29th edition of the Christian Science Monitor.
While Americans don’t feel like punishing Republicans nor rewarding Democrats, could the national emotion meter indicate good news for “third parties”?
Warm fuzzies for Republicans level at 43%, but only 38% for Democrats. In the June 20-26th Democracy Corps survey the poll news is even bleaker. Among those surveyed, 39% view themselves as “Conservative” while a mere 17% are proud to wear the “Liberal” label. 41% feel they’re “Moderate.”
When it comes to identifying with a specific party, Democratic allegiance leads Republican by only 4%. Which case leads one to believe that Democrats are not as party-loyal as Republicans once in the booth. 24% of those polled describe themselves as Independent and are nearly equally split between left or right leaning.
Respondents indicate they’re more likely to vote for a Democrat when the issue is the economy. However, they don’t see the Democratic Party as unifying the country. I take it to mean that while they find the Republicans are polarizers, they may feel the Democrats are even more so.
Health care outstrips every other issue as the most serious problem with the economy. And they feel that Democrats will do more than Republicans to address the issue and get health care costs down. Here’s where the party and candidates should focus. American voters are ready for health care reform.
Their second greatest economic worry is cuts to employee benefits — again impacting affordable health care — followed by the federal deficit.
It seems voters are looking for candidates who offer workable solutions to spiraling health care costs and deficit numbers. This is where the Democrats should focus. Economic issues mean more to voters than family values!
Still, the survey indicates voters are not ready to support gay marriage. Likewise, they oppose undocumented aliens. Both these “wedge” issues have been successfully exploited by the Republicans, especially gay marriage in the last presidential election.
Sure, people think Bush is leading this country in the wrong direction and are ripe for change. But Democratic candidates need a clear, firm, and realistic offering that focuses on opposing the Iraq war, strengthening the domestic economy, and reining in the deficit. With such a three-plank platform, Democrats have a solid shot in the upcoming ’06 elections.