The dominant issues are Government Ethics and Corruption, Very Important to 72% of likely voters; the Economy (68%); and National Security and the War on Terror (68%) ***Tip for 2008: Update your insurance policy and stock up on non-perishable goods and ammo, because the only way for the GOP to win the White House is for the "War on Terror"TM to become front and center.
Republicans are accorded preference on only one issue, National Security and the War on Terror. Forty-five percent (45%) trust Republicans more on national security while 41% trust Democrats more. Historically, over the past generation or so, Republicans have typically enjoyed a larger edge on national security issues. However, during the current election cycle, the parties have consistently been close to parity on the topic.When your only tool is a hammer you tend to see every problem as a nail, so expect the Republicans to pound away at the "War on Terror"TM despite their slim lead on the issue.
On the economy, Democrats have a modest advantage of 46% to 41%. That’s down from a 12-point edge a month ago.Democrats -- other than John Edwards -- need to start talking to middle-class Americans about the crisis in the mortgage/housing market and what they intend to do about it. Far more Americans will lose their houses to foreclosure than will lose their houses in the California wildfires -- a new report from Congress’s Joint Economic Committee predicts that there will be two million foreclosures on subprime mortgages by the end of next year -- but because it will happen more slowly and over a wider expanse of the country, it is more difficult to grasp it's magnitude.
But that's no excuse. Democrats are supposed to be the party that can understand numbers and recognize people in need. It's time to start acting like it.
Democrats have a bigger "lead," 38% to 30%, on government corruption. But even when one party seems to have more big scandals in the news, voters and especially unaffiliated voters lean toward a pox-on-both-your-houses attitude. This month, almost half of unaffiliateds (47%) don’t trust either party on the corruption issue.The Democratic leadership has done a terrible job with this issue. Start having oversight hearings on every aspect of the Iraq War and the billions of dollars poured down that rat hole. Not only will it justify a perception of the Democrats as the party of good government, it would increase Americans support for bringing the troops home.
One of the reasons Republican Presidential candidates are so eager to talk about Senator Hillary Clinton is that the issue environment is so treacherous for the GOP. While the country is evenly divided in its opinion of the former First Lady and current Presidential candidate, there are few issues where Republicans are trusted as much as Democrats. At the moment, voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on nine out of the ten issues tracked by Rasmussen Reports. This tilt toward the Democrats continues a trend of many months.Nine out of ten!
Any other group would be a lock in the next election -- but we're talking about Democrats.
Despite the Republican edge on national security, Democrats are more trusted on the War in Iraq, 45% to 41%. As an issue the war is Very Important to 63%.Americans trust Democrats on the Iraq War because there is a perception that the Democrats are more likely to get us the hell out of Iraq. But continued war-funding and mealy mouthed half-measures could easily change that view.
Democrats have a five-point edge of 41% to 36% on the issue of Immigration, Very Important to 54%. In early August, not long after the death in Congress of a bitterly debated immigration reform bill, Immigration was Very Important to 58%. Democrats then had a ten-percent margin over Republicans on the issue.Someone forward the results of this poll to Rahm Emanuel ASAP!
Even on Taxes, which most voters would like to see cut, Democrats are preferred by a margin of 45% to 40%. It's Very Important to 55%.It is way past time for the Democrats to make an issue of, and then repeal, Bush's tax cuts for the hyper-rich.
The Democrats have double-digit advantages on Education (48% to 35%), Social Security (49% to 33%), and especially Health Care (53% to 32%). Education is Very Important to 58%. Social Security and Health Care are Very Important to 61% and 66%, respectively.No surprises here. So I hope to see another S-CHIP funding bill back on the President's desk by Thanksgiving. And then by New Years... and then by Valentines Day... and then by Easter...
Last month, when Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was making headlines with her plans for Health Care reform, Democrats had a 51% to 35% advantage on the issue. So the Democrats' advantage has widened.
Democrats have an eight-point advantage (43% to 35%) on abortion, Very Important as an electoral issue to just 38%.Say it with me: Safe, Rare and Legal.
Overall, the Republicans have only a narrow edge or no edge on issues like Taxes and National Security, where they were once strongly favored. But the Democrats enjoy unambiguously wide margins on their own signatures issues, like Social Security and Health Care.Long story short: The Democrats have Nine Winning Issues to talk about, so it's time to stop letting the "War on Terror"TM monopolize their agenda.