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June 30, 2005
Likely Voters Running Away From Democrats

A new poll by Democracy Corps on behalf of the Democratic Party shows a significant erosion of support for the Democrats among likely voters:

[T]he poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive feelings about Democrats.

"Republicans weakened in this poll ... but it shows Democrats weakening more," said Stanley Greenberg, who served as President Clinton's pollster.

Greenberg told the Christian Science Monitor he attributes the slippage to voters' perceptions that Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view."

Obstructionism and a monopoly of gainsay has undermined the Democrats during wartime, and they cannot see it. The Democrats have vaulted their radicals to the leadership positions, people like Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, all of whom think that saying "No!" amounts to responsible opposition. In all three cases, the leaders spend more time calling the GOP names and engaging in personal attacks than in highlighting alternate approaches to issues.

Social Security provides a great example. After years of complaining that the program was at serious risk -- Al Gore ran for President practically standing on a "lockbox" in 2000 -- suddenly the official party line has transformed into denial that any problems exist at all. What changed? The Republicans put together a plan to address the long-term economic catastrophe that everyone knows is coming. Instead of proposing an alternate plan, Democrats sat on their butts and simply refused to engage.

The Democrats consider this their Newt Gingrich strategy. Gingrich torpedoed Hillarycare in 1993 without ever proposing an alternative, and won a majority in 1994 for his work. But Hillarycare would have created a huge government expansion and nationalized a private industry. Social Security already is a huge government program, and Congress has the responsibility to see to its maintenance. That difference hasn't yet occurred to the Democratic cogniscenti, but the American electorate appears a bit smarter than Reid, Pelosi, and Dean.

Democrats need to decide whether they intend to stand for something other than Bush-hatred. Bush will only have an impact on one more election, the 2006 midterm cycle, in which he will only play a moderate role. If the Democrats plan on achieving a majority in their lifetime, they need to start demonstrating that they deserve to lead. That involves providing solutions, not the steady diet of petulant footstamping that has been their trademark the last two sessions of Congress. (via Michelle Malkin)

UPDATE: As always, Gerry has more in-depth analysis of the polling.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 30, 2005 6:28 AM

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