2008 Ask: Do You Think We’re Fucked? Obama Wins in November.
posted by June 27 at 15:50 PMon
From this observation:
In its new New Jersey poll, Fairleigh Dickinson split its panel into halves. The first half received a battery of national questions — including a “wrong track” question — before being asked their presidential preference. The second half got the Presidential questions first.
Among those respondents who got the presidential question first, Obama had a 47-34 lead. But among who got the wrong track question and then were asked for their presidential pick, Obama’s lead expanded to 51-33. The difference was particularly large among independent voters, who split 24-24 with huge numbers of undecideds when asked the presidential question first, but went 41-14 for Obama if they had been prompted by the national mood questions.
But here’s the other side of the finding that asking national mood questions can skew survey results in Obama’s favor. If the mere suggestion that the country might be on the wrong track is enough to send scores of independents into the Obama column, imagine what a concerted effort to frame the discourse that way might do. This is something that Hillary Clinton had started to tap into toward the end of the primary process. Screw hope — things are bad right now — and we need solutions.
Obama’s “change” message, by contrast, has oftentimes been a little bit too abstract. Here’s the messaging that Mssrs. Axelrod and Plouffe need to work on: Iraq’s fucked up, the economy’s fucked up, health care’s fucked up, the environment’s fucked up, and all John McCain can say is to “stay the course”. If that’s the mindset that voters take into the ballot booth with them in November, Obama will win quite convincingly.
It isn’t simply a matter of trying to frame McCain as the next Bush. That allows voters to let McCain off the hook if they conclude that McCain isn’t the next Bush, and McCain’s favorables are strong enough that many voters won’t bite on that one. Rather, it’s a matter of trying to portray McCain as being out of touch because he doesn’t recognize that these things like health care are problems when 70 or 80 percent of the country does.
See? My depressing posts about financial crises, crappy energy policy, impeding war with Iran and worms growing in the organs of poor American children are a force for good. I fully intend to ruin many of your future afternoons and lunches with doses of empiric reality.