Monday, January 1, 2007

Reaching The Deciders

New Year's Eve is our wedding anniversary (13th), so after a really lovely dinner, Daryl and I went to a friend's home to ring in the New Year. Soon after arriving, we met a nice guy, Johnny, a businessman, about our age. It's was his 13th wedding anniversary, too.

Quickly, the discussion turned to politics, and Johnny told us that it was not the partisans on either end of the political spectrum who decide elections, but instead, it's voters like him who vote all the time, but for for the "person not the party." We call the Johnny's of the world swing voters, and some estimate that as many as 40% of Georgians place themselves in this category, depending on how "swing" is defined. Some of these voters are issue driven, others simply vote for the man or women they "trust" or "relate to" (that brain stem voting thing we've talked about.) Johnny said, "Voters like me, we're the deciders." Johnny's right, and Democrats ought not ignore Johnny.

Investing in clean energy, better public education and affordable health care, and keeping the budget balanced by paying for those initiatives by rolling back tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest individuals- that's what the research says appeals to these critical swing voters. To win, Georgia Democrats can't ignore the Johnny's of the world. Swing voters have been the subject of considerable research and attention as political parties try to reach for this decisive group. Consider this from Emerging Democratic Majority:

June 28, 2006

GQR Survey Reveals Swing Voter Priorities
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research has a new report "Swing Nation," which offers clues for securing the support of swing voters. In the executive summary of the study Anna Greenberg and David Walker explain:

Swing voters embrace an agenda that invests more money in new clean energy, affordable health care for all and strengthening education with these investments paid for by eliminating recently passed tax cuts for corporations and people making over $200,000 a year. But swing voters also make plain their concerns about the deficit and government accountability.
The study, conducted 5/20-25, is based on a survey of "self-described Independents and near-independents" in "swing congressional districts" and "swing senate seats" identified by the Rothenberg Political Report, Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato. The survey reports that Dems have a strong lead among swing voters in key House races 45-28 percent, and an even larger lead among swing voters in swing state senate races, 53-31 percent. See the article for a complete list of swing districts and states.

Posted by EDM staff at 09:26 AM link

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