The MoveOn ad that accused General David Petraeus of possibly traitorous testimony before he even began speaking has alienated the majority of American voters -- and even a plurality among MoveOn's allies believed it harnful to their cause. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 58% of those polled disapprove of the accusatory ad in the New York Times, while only a paltry 23% approve (via Memeorandum):
Twenty-three percent (23%) of Americans approve of an ad run in the New York Times “that referred to General Petraeus as General Betray Us.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% disapproved. Those figures include 12% who Strongly Approve and 42% who Strongly Disapprove.
Self-identified liberals were evenly divided—45% approve and 39% disapprove. However, only 19% of moderate voters approve while 62% disapprove.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of all adults say that “stunts like the MoveOn.org ad” hurt the cause they believe in. Only 12% believe they help the cause while 17% say there is no impact. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. Again, political liberals are divided with 27% saying they help and 32% taking the opposite view. Fifty percent (50%) of moderates and 57% of conservatives say that these sorts of events hurt the cause the group is trying to promote.
The news gets bad for MoveOn in this poll, and it demonstrates the marginalization of what purportedly started as a group championing moderation. Only 23% of all voters have a favorable impression of the group, while 39% have an unfavorable opinion. Even among Democrats, only 35% support MoveOn. Forty-one percent don't know what to think of the advocacy group.
In looking at the crosstabs, the news gets even worse. Very Unfavorable wins the plurality of respondents, with 27%, outstripping both Very Favorable and Somewhat Favorable combined. Liberals approve only by 44%, but otherwise MoveOn's favorability ratings remain in the 22-26% range across all other demographics except among blacks, where it goes up to 31% -- and even there, 28% view the group unfavorably, including 16% Very Unfavorably.
The demographics on the ad show even more problems. Seventy percent of all men disapproved, including 56% strongly disapproving, and 48% of all women disapproved. Every age group disapproved of it with large majorities. Almost two-thirds of moderates disapproved, including 41% who strongly disapproved.
It's an amazing sweep. MoveOn managed to unite most of the country -- against MoveOn. Eli Pariser planned on making this into a series of ads, but he'd do better by burying the Betray Us theme and hope everyone forgets about it -- and quickly.