Friday, May 30, 2008

The Wide Stance: Suckling on Ignorance

There are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers. That's just partisan bluster, right?

A poll has been conducted (full version in PDF) intended to discover the link, if any, between voters' party identification and their policy preferences. The results are an astounding confirmation that the Republican party would dry up and blow away by tomorrow morning if its loyal voters weren't systematically deluded about the parties' policy choices.

Here's a summary of the poll's takeaway, and this summary is written by and from a pro-GOP perspective:

Let’s start with the economy. When voters know what party each message comes from, we loose 37% to 58% and trail among independents by 18%. Ouch. However, when you read both messages without telling voters who they come from, the story gets worse.

Republican voters like the Democrat’s message more than their own party’s message by a large 14% margin when they don’t know which party it comes from. Just as disturbing, numbers among independents drop by another 10%... giving the Democrats a massive 28% advantage. Even our horrifically damaged image is better than our message on the economy. Independents and even Republicans simply like the Democrats’ plan more than ours.

Iraq and trade both follow the exact same pattern. We’re getting smashed on both issues on the partisan test, but when you look at the nonpartisan test where our damaged image isn’t a factor, the numbers get even worse among Independents and Republicans. A few Democrats (and in the case of trade a bunch of Democrats) move our way on the nonpartisan ballot, but Independents actually agree with our messages more when they know the messages came from Republicans.

On taxes, the picture gets more complex. On the partisan text, Independents like the Democrats’ message by significant 14% margin, but Republicans still like our message and give us a resounding 39% advantage. That changes drastically on the nonpartisan test.

When the party’s names are removed, Independents are almost evenly split, giving the Democrats’ message a small 5% advantage. However, Republican voters stampede away from the GOP message. Among Republicans, support for the GOP message on taxes drops by a gargantuan 53% when the party’s names are removed, leaving the Democrats with a 14% advantage. You read that right, on the nonpartisan test, Independents like the GOP message on taxes more than Republicans do and even Independents slightly favor the Democrats.
Granted, there may be large numbers of Wide Stance base voters who remain loyal to the party for its endless cage-rattling on abortion, gays, guns, god, minorities, and the normalization of torture. Maybe they just don't care enough to pay attention to matters like the Iraq war, the economy, and taxation.

Clearly, some voters do genuinely respond to the cage-rattling. But more clearly, the fostering of ignorance on basic matters of public policy is absolutely crucial to Wide Stance electoral politics. This is why they cannot let go of talk of flag pins, cackles, inconsequential gaffes, hair cuts, and blow jobs. Take that away and they are exposed for what they are -- a party of, by, and for millionaires, looking to rouse enough suckers to carry their agenda forward.

No comments: