We love polls. Each and every time one of these snapshots in time is produced we dig right in to the cross tabs. The eternal optimist looks for some glimmer of good news even if it is a stretch. But it’s there. The polling pendulum swings back and forth between enthusiasm and fatigue, between right and wrong.
That said, polls are polls. The only poll that really matters is the one that occurs on election day, not on May 7. Favorable and unfavorable ratings of our current elected officials are interesting and help tell a story. Issue polls are less so because of the 24-hour news cycle. Nonetheless, the GOP and their pollsters are producing survey after survey at fever pitch. There are probably a dozen in the field right now. Let me guess– the economy is the number one issue on voters’ minds.
If you surveyed Iowans in March, tax deductibility was probably high on the list. Then marriage a few weeks later. Fear of a pandemic must have scored well last week. By the end of May it could be health care. That is unless there’s a natural disaster. Where is terrorism on the list today? Where will terrorism be if… never mind. The point is: issues change. Obama changes the issue nearly every day. Perhaps the key to winning on issues is to stay consistent.
Last summer, several candidates had campaign commercials already in the can on energy independence. By the time absentee voters were returning their ballots, the price of a gallon of gas had been cut in half, but Fannie and Freddie hit the fan. McCain was up by two points two weeks after the GOP convention. Then Republicans were caught in the bailout trap and Bush fatigue kicked into its lowest gear.
Folks, that’s the sins of the past. Recognized, lesson learned, moving on. Republicans have to stop talking about re-branding and testing messages. No Rasmussen, Zogby, or Gallup is going to change the planks in the platform. How these issues are “packaged” just screams “intellectual laziness.” We would love nothing more than to hear that someone has had enough of Obama/Pelosi and is throwing their hat in the ring. Why wait? The game is on and it needs to be won.
Written By Chuck Laudner
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