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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/10/2005 8:05:28 AM EDT


By Dan Balz

Wednesday, August 10, 2005; Page A08

Dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, the economy and rising health care costs might spell trouble for Republicans, but a study by Democratic strategists warns that their party's failure to connect with voters on cultural issues could prevent Democratic candidates from reaping gains in upcoming national elections.

Democrats have expressed bewilderment over Republican gains among lower-income, less-educated voters, saying they are voting against their economic self-interest by supporting Republican candidates. But the new Democracy Corps study concludes that cultural issues trump economic issues by a wide margin for many of these voters -- giving the GOP a significant electoral advantage.


The study is based on focus groups of rural voters in Wisconsin and Arkansas and disaffected supporters of President Bush in Colorado and Kentucky. The good news for Democrats: All the groups expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and with the leadership of the president and the GOP-controlled Congress.

Then came the bad news: "As powerful as the concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes -- specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life -- quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level," the study said.

Many of these voters still favor Democrats on economic issues. But they see the Democrats as weak on national security, and on cultural and moral issues, they view Democrats as both inconsistent and hostile to traditional values. "Most referred to Democrats as 'liberal' on issues of morality, but some even go so far as to label them 'immoral,' 'morally bankrupt,' or even 'anti-religious,' " according to the Democracy Corps analysis.

Democrats Karl Agne and Stan Greenberg, who conducted the focus group, said Democrats need a reform-oriented, anti-Washington agenda to overcome the culture gap. At this point, Democrats are in no position to capitalize if there is a clear backlash against Republicans. "No matter how disaffected they are over Republican failures in Iraq and here at home," they said, "a large chunk of white, non-college voters, particularly in rural areas, will remain unreachable for Democrats at the national level."

Link Posted: 8/10/2005 8:17:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 9:56:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 10:00:39 AM EDT by raven]

Then came the bad news: "As powerful as the concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes -- specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life -- quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level," the study said.


These issues, ones where most people agree with the conservative position and liberals are unwilling to comprimise or soften their unpopular stance, are called "wedge issues" by the liberals. The usual strategy for dealing with these sticky situations is to pretend they share these values in order to fool the rubes. Urban liberals are very forgiving about their politicians doing this because they know they don't mean it.

When Howard Dean said he was very religious and Kerry started showing up at Catholic church, do you think it worried Democrats for a second? Of course not. It's just an act. But they find Bush's faith extremely troubling, because they know he really does believe all that Jesus nonsense.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 10:11:16 AM EDT
I am virtually surrounded by Dems...many of them current or former members of Congress. I have discussions with them all the time about why they did so bad last November. To a man, they *refuse* to believe that it wasn't because "Bush scared everyone so bad about terrorism", even after this amount of time. When I suggest it's gun control, gay marriage, and the other things this article mentions, they just refuse to consider it. They will continue to founder until they come up with *something* other than continually bashing the President. They stand for nothing...and a lot people have caught on to that, even ones disatisfied about the way things are going now.

Link Posted: 8/10/2005 10:17:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DEATHDEALER:


Democrats have expressed bewilderment over Republican gains among lower-income, less-educated voters, saying they are voting against their economic self-interest continued dependance and impoverishment by supporting Republican candidates.


Link Posted: 8/10/2005 10:23:52 AM EDT
Yeah, that's another blunder Democrats make: they think their positions and ideas would be widely embraced by the public, because most people agree with liberals. All they have to do is get the word out, and people will obviously see the better agenda! Or at least, that was the thinking before the 2004 election.

After the election disaster, there was still a refusal to consider maybe their basic ideas and philosophies were the problem that weren't winning new voters. Their new strategy was to "frame the debate" and mimic what the conservatives did after 1964 and Goldwater, and what the Republican house did after Clinton won. When this fails, I wonder what they'll try next. It won't be to change their ideas and philosophies, that much I am pretty sure.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 11:12:44 AM EDT
Need a link, please, so we can spread this around.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:46:06 PM EDT
Wasn't it Will Rogers who said, "I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrat"?????


Howard Dean was the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan, IMO.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:56:02 PM EDT
Well, one new tactic is celebrating "deferred victories".
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