Tuning Out the Democrats – NYTimes.com

Tuning Out the Democrats – NYTimes.com.

Opinion

Why Voters Tune Out Democrats

Stanley B. Greenberg is the chief executive of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a polling company that works with center-left political parties in the United States and abroad.

BARACK OBAMA can’t catch a break from the American public on the economy, even though he prevented a depression and saved global capitalism.

Perhaps the president finds solace in knowing he’s not alone. During this period of economic crisis and uncertainty, voters are generally turning to conservative and right-wing political parties, most notably in Europe and in Canada.

It’s perplexing. When unemployment is high, and the rich are getting richer, you would think that voters of average means would flock to progressives, who are supposed to have their interests in mind — and who historically have delivered for them.

During the last half-century or so, when a Democratic president has led the country, people have tended to experience lower unemployment, less inequality and rising income compared with periods of Republican governance. There is a reason, however, that many voters in the developed world are turning away from Democrats, Socialists, liberals and progressives.

My vantage point on voter behavior comes through my company, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and its work for center-left parties globally, starting with Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. For the last decade, I have worked in partnership with James Carville conducting monthly polls digging into America’s mood and studying how progressives can develop successful electoral strategies. (I am also married to a Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut, Rosa L. DeLauro.)

In analyzing these polls in the United States, I see clearly that voters feel ever more estranged from government — and that they associate Democrats with government. If Democrats are going to be encumbered by that link, they need to change voters’ feelings about government. They can recite their good plans as a mantra and raise their voices as if they had not been heard, but voters will not listen to them if government is disreputable.

Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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1 Comment

Filed under Democrats, political parties, politics, Republicans, system of government, USA

One response to “Tuning Out the Democrats – NYTimes.com

  1. Pit

    To my mind, this article really gives plenty of insight in what is called the “average voter’s mind”, explaining the paradox that, while the Democratic party’s programme should be more appealing to lower and middle class voters, they tend not to support this party in times of economic worries.

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