Monday, March 23, 2009

Elon's Latest...

Elon's surprising poll results on gay marriage are getting a lot of attention. While a lot of focus has been on question wording, I'd be very interested to see the demographic composition of the poll, particularly by party, and crosstabs. I've always been pretty consistent that I think all publicly released polls should include those things. Beyond that I'm not getting into the debate.

I was actually more interested in Elon's release from Friday, which goes a long way toward explaining why Republicans have had trouble in recent elections with getting their message across. 56% of respondents approve of the job the General Assembly is doing with only 23% disapproving. Railing on the corruption of a body that is generally perceived positively by the public isn't a good election strategy. Democrats in the legislature also get reviews (53/26) than their Republican counterparts do (41/37).

Here's the problem for the GOP and the corruption issue, as I see it:

-First, you have to convince the voters that corruption is a problem.
-Then, you have to convince the voters it's the other guy's fault.

Voters know that they care about the economy or education. So when you use those things as major campaign issues half the work is already done. But if it's something- like corruption in Raleigh- that isn't automatically on voters' minds, it gives you twice as much work to do. Republicans need to overhaul and simplify their message about things that voters inherently are concerned about if they're going to have more success at the state level in North Carolina.

I don't really anticipate that happening though.

1 comment:

Chris said...


I would add one more point before your other two kick in:

The people need to know who's in charge.

When a majority of voters don't know which party controls the NC House or Senate, it's difficult to run against the people in charge.

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