Pew did a poll in December 2011 that showed that the term “Progressive” was seen as more popular than the term “Conservative”. I wrote about this back in August 2012 and showed you this graph of the polling result:
Here’s a link to that entire post if you’re interested:
Looking at the graph, you see that Progressive just squeaked by as more popular than conservative but conservative was seen as significantly more negative than progressive. Recent polling shows that today only 22% of the nation identifies themselves as Republicans.
Of course, though not entirely accurate, people do link all Republicans as Conservatives and all Democrats as Liberals/Progressives. I’m not really sure how they see the growing number of independents. However one thing is certain from recent polling, we are not a center right nation, we are a center left.
When you poll specific agenda items, people tend to support the “liberal” position of that issue instead of the “conservative”. This is interesting because people are still hard pressed to accept being called a liberal, who the right-wing associates with being “Socialist”, but when you poll them, they actually take what can only be described as supporting what they would call “socialist causes”. This is the result of decades of propaganda coming from the right to convince people that anything liberal is evil.
The problem in this country when it comes to swinging opinions and votes of the electorate is that whenever anyone describes anything to anybody, they do so with labels. It’s Democratic, It’s Republican, It’s Liberal, It’s Conservative, It’s Socialist, It’s Communist, they attach a label to something and the person is hearing it more by focusing on the label, than the content of the issue being discussed.
Consider these questions:
Do you support adequate funding of teachers, fire-fighters and police?
Do you support having clean air, water and safe food to consume?
Do you support improving our nation’s infrastructure, repairing roads, bridges, electrical grids throughout the nation?
Do you support natural disaster relief from the federal government?
Do you support the wealthiest among us paying a progressively higher percentage of taxes to fund necessary government services?
Do you support giving tax breaks to corporations who ship jobs overseas to increase their profit margins?
Do you support providing healthcare and assistance for the elderly living on fixed incomes?
Do you support providing veteran services for those who have served in the military defending our nation?
Do you support stronger laws ensuring that banks and corporations do not fraudulently take advantage of customers?
Do you support privatization of traditionally public services (fire, police, courts, prisons, etc) though it would mean a higher cost to you to provide a profit margin for those services?
Do you support the moral code of any single religious group dominating public policy and law in your community?
Do you support a woman’s right to choose whether to have a safe legal abortion?
Do you support equal pay for equal work?
Do you support a living wage for yourself and family?
Do you support any government assistance in providing more jobs in your community?
When you ask questions like these, the majority of people would answer “yes” to the majority of those questions. Then you need to ask them which candidate who is running, will provide what they think is right and how will they do so? Ask if them if those candidates have supported those things in the past and if they can, cite examples.
Avoid going into Republican or Democratic or Progressive or Conservative terminology; just ask about the issue itself. If you haven’t guessed already, most sane rational people, including Republicans are for what’s listed above. However if you focus on Democrat versus Republican with them, Democrat will always lose. Give them an opportunity to discover for themselves what they want and how best to get it. That is how you convince voters in gerrymandered Republican Congressional Districts to consider maybe going for a different candidate.
This is just a suggestion. Of course, you also need to provide a candidate willing to run supporting those issues without fear of being called a liberal socialist communist. But we already know that story.
Another step on our journey to the 2014 midterms