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  GOP Pollsters say Bush has edge on Social issues
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Author Topic: GOP Pollsters say Bush has edge on Social issues  (Read 2344 times)
The Vorlon
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« on: June 18, 2004, 07:27:20 am »
« edited: June 18, 2004, 07:28:04 am by The Vorlon »

Click here for Article

Cultural values could give Bush the edge in election

By Whit Ayres and Jon McHenry

The advent of legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts has pushed to the forefront another of the cultural issues that increasingly define the great political divide in America. In past generations, the best predictor of partisan preference was economic standing haves vs. have-nots, rich vs. poor, white collar vs. blue collar.
Today a better predictor is cultural values God, guns, abortion and, foremost in this election, civil unions and gay marriage.

Though many pundits predict that Iraq and the economy will be the determining factors this year, cultural values could end up playing a crucial role. Those cultural values help George W. Bush and hurt Democrat John Kerry, especially in the swing states that will decide the presidential election.

This year's 17 swing states split their votes almost evenly between Bush and Al Gore in 2000. Neither defeated the other by more than six percentage points. (Tennessee, where Bush won by four points, is not included in our list of swing states. If Gore could not win as a native, then Kerry's cause there is hopeless.) The largest swing states Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio contain a treasure trove of electoral votes.

Voters evenly divided

Polls show that today the 17 swing states are split evenly between Bush and Kerry. This despite double-digit leads for Bush in those states he won in 2000 by more than 6 points (red states) and double-digit leads for Kerry in those states Gore won by more than 6 points (blue states).

Yet swing states are anything but equally divided on the key cultural issues. On issue after issue, swing states look much more like red than blue states. A recent national survey we conducted shows:

Voters in red states and swing states oppose civil unions for gay couples by double-digit margins, but voters in blue states overwhelmingly support civil unions.

Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing-state voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, but only half of the blue-state voters oppose same-sex marriage.

Red-state and swing-state voters support the goals of the National Rifle Association by double-digit margins, but blue-state voters oppose those goals by an equally large margin.

Red-state voters support a ban on partial-birth abortion by a 14-point margin, and swing-state voters support a ban by 15 points, but blue-state voters support a ban by only 6 points.

Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing-state voters say religion is "very important" in their lives, but only half of blue-state voters agree. Indeed, this religious-vs.-secular dimension explains many differences on other cultural attitudes.

Candidate cultural test

What does all of this mean politically? To be sure, no one cultural issue will contend with national security or the economy as the most important issue facing the country. But together they create a mosaic, a cultural Rorschach test that allows voters to determine whether a candidate basically looks at the world the way they do.

Is this candidate truly religious, or is he just going through the motions? Is this candidate sympathetic to my values, or does he secretly or not so secretly harbor contempt for them?

Cultural issues are Bush's ace in the hole in this election. On cultural values, voters in the swing states look at the world far more the way Bush does than the way Kerry does. Don't look for Pat Buchanan-style cultural-warrior speeches at the GOP convention. Harsh condemnations of whole groups of people always backfire. Americans admire tolerance, but that doesn't mean anything goes.

By the time the election rolls around, swing-state voters will understand the differences between the two candidates on culture and that could make all the difference in a close election.

Whit Ayres and Jon McHenry are Republican pollsters based in Alexandria, Va. The survey on which this article is based is available at www.ayresmchenry.com.

Click here for Poll


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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 07:32:50 am »

Campaigning on wedge issues should be illegal
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 07:38:41 am »

Campaigning on wedge issues should be illegal

Campaign finance laws would be nice also Smiley
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MODU
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 07:55:24 am »


"Do you think that a Presidential candidate can campaign effectively on $75 million, or does a serious candidate need more than $300 million?"  Smiley

I'm telling ya, in parallel with my vision for a 3-party race, we'd need to cap fund raising/spending to less than $100 million so candidates who can get on 40+ state ballots can have an equal chance at reaching the White House.  It would shift us away from "buying" the election.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 09:57:18 am »

Click here for Article

Cultural values could give Bush the edge in election

By Whit Ayres and Jon McHenry

The advent of legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts has pushed to the forefront another of the cultural issues that increasingly define the great political divide in America. In past generations, the best predictor of partisan preference was economic standing haves vs. have-nots, rich vs. poor, white collar vs. blue collar.
Today a better predictor is cultural values God, guns, abortion and, foremost in this election, civil unions and gay marriage.

Though many pundits predict that Iraq and the economy will be the determining factors this year, cultural values could end up playing a crucial role. Those cultural values help George W. Bush and hurt Democrat John Kerry, especially in the swing states that will decide the presidential election.

This year's 17 swing states split their votes almost evenly between Bush and Al Gore in 2000. Neither defeated the other by more than six percentage points. (Tennessee, where Bush won by four points, is not included in our list of swing states. If Gore could not win as a native, then Kerry's cause there is hopeless.) The largest swing states Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio contain a treasure trove of electoral votes.

Voters evenly divided

Polls show that today the 17 swing states are split evenly between Bush and Kerry. This despite double-digit leads for Bush in those states he won in 2000 by more than 6 points (red states) and double-digit leads for Kerry in those states Gore won by more than 6 points (blue states).

Yet swing states are anything but equally divided on the key cultural issues. On issue after issue, swing states look much more like red than blue states. A recent national survey we conducted shows:

Voters in red states and swing states oppose civil unions for gay couples by double-digit margins, but voters in blue states overwhelmingly support civil unions.

Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing-state voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, but only half of the blue-state voters oppose same-sex marriage.

Red-state and swing-state voters support the goals of the National Rifle Association by double-digit margins, but blue-state voters oppose those goals by an equally large margin.

Red-state voters support a ban on partial-birth abortion by a 14-point margin, and swing-state voters support a ban by 15 points, but blue-state voters support a ban by only 6 points.

Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing-state voters say religion is "very important" in their lives, but only half of blue-state voters agree. Indeed, this religious-vs.-secular dimension explains many differences on other cultural attitudes.

Candidate cultural test

What does all of this mean politically? To be sure, no one cultural issue will contend with national security or the economy as the most important issue facing the country. But together they create a mosaic, a cultural Rorschach test that allows voters to determine whether a candidate basically looks at the world the way they do.

Is this candidate truly religious, or is he just going through the motions? Is this candidate sympathetic to my values, or does he secretly or not so secretly harbor contempt for them?

Cultural issues are Bush's ace in the hole in this election. On cultural values, voters in the swing states look at the world far more the way Bush does than the way Kerry does. Don't look for Pat Buchanan-style cultural-warrior speeches at the GOP convention. Harsh condemnations of whole groups of people always backfire. Americans admire tolerance, but that doesn't mean anything goes.

By the time the election rolls around, swing-state voters will understand the differences between the two candidates on culture and that could make all the difference in a close election.

Whit Ayres and Jon McHenry are Republican pollsters based in Alexandria, Va. The survey on which this article is based is available at www.ayresmchenry.com.

Click here for Poll




Remember what I said six weeks ago about this matter?

Its nice to see some pollsters releasing this data.

Good post.
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