A View From The Handbasket

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Democrats unveil Defeat 2006 strategy
Posted by neros_fiddle at 5:47 PM
Again, apologies for the lack of posts. October and April are bad months for me.

Anyway, I was excited to receive a survey from my state's Democratic Party. What an insider I am! I eagerly tore open the envelope to see how they planned to take advantage of all the Republican scandals and woes to take back Congress in 2006. Let's see!

1. Please rate the following state issues in order of importance. (1 = most important)

- Lowering state taxes
- Restoring essentiaal services cut to funding shortfalls
- Keeping our state's air and water clean
- Protecting wildlife and natural habitat

Oh, dear. I see where this is going. What's more important, cutting taxes, increasing spending, or both? Do you like cute furry animals? How do you feel about E. Coli? Geezus, this is like a Republican mailing except even dumber.

I suspect that this is just boilerplate being fed from the national level to the state, since nothing here sounds specific to my state.

2. What is your view of our children's education fund?

- It's too little
- It's too much
- It's just about right
- Not sure

Because, as we all know, the amount spent is always more important than how it's spent.

3. Please check all the following that you think will help the Democratic Party ensure a Democratic victory in 2006.

- Expanding outreach to independent voters
- Focusing attention on the negative impacts of the Republican agenda
- Increasing public awareness of our Democratic vision for a better America
- Raising the public profile of state Democratic leaders

This is their strategy for victory? Might as well start painting the map red. How about "stop being wussies and stand for something"? That's not on the list.

4. How important do you think the 2006 election results will be to Democratic effort to regain control of Congress?

- Very important
- Somewhat important
- Not very important
- Not important at all
- Not sure

At this point I think it would be useful to point out that I am not making any of this up. This is a real question on the "Democratic Victory 2006 Survey." The only thing more mystifying than the utter stupidity of the question is exactly what useful information someone hopes to glean from the responses.

In similar news, it's been suggested that the World Series may play a role in determining the MLB champion. Details to come.

5. Please rank the following national issues in order of importance. (1 = highest priority)

- Strengthening Social Security
- Improving access to quality health care
- Fufilling the educational promises of the No Child Left Behind Act
- Lowering skyrocketing gas prices
- Restoring fiscal responsibility in the federal government
- Protecting America's natural heritage
- Maintaining a fair and nonpartisan federal judiciary

Sounds like the Dems are again surrendering foreign policy without a fight. Nothing about Iraq, nothing about terror, nothing about trade, nothing about torture, nothing about nuke proliferation, North Korea, Iran or the Sudan. Call me crazy, but I'm not sure how taking half or more of the issues of the table at the start helps your effort to present yourself as a superior alternative to your opponent.

And, please -- "Lowering skyrocketing gas prices"? Pander much? Show some vision and suggest alternative energy sources as a national priority.

6. What do you think is the most likely outcome of the 2006 elections?

- Democrats will take back the U.S. House of Representatives
- Democrats will take back the U.S. Senate
- Democrats will take back both the House and Senate
- Democrats will take back neither House of Congress
- Not sure

I guess it's good to know the morale of the troops, but how does this help craft a compelling message? Oh, wait, here we go...

7. How compelling is the case Democrats are making for opposing the national GOP's special-interest agenda?

- Very compelling
- Somewhat compelling
- Not very compelling
- Not compelling at all
- Not sure

Christ. No wonder the Dems can't craft a coherent message to save their lives if this is the caliber of feedback they're getting from the base. "They don't like the message! We don't know why! Try something else -- how about clean water? Everyone likes clean water!"

8. What do you think will happen to George W. Bush's popularity in the months ahead?

- It will continue to fall
- It will stay the same
- It will rise
- Not sure

What a useful thing to know. Let's plan our strategy around the uninformed opinion of the masses on predicting the unpredictable!

More incisive, no-nonsense information gathering:

9. How important is the outcome of the 2006 elections to our nation's future?

- Very important
- Somewhat important
- Not very important
- Not important at all
- Not sure

I used to work for a market research company. This is like a parody of bad market research. At the risk of stating the obvious, what you want to accomplish with market research is to gather useful information to help you understand what resonates with your target market. For a political organization, there's the additional need to understand what people are concerned about in their everyday lives and their feelings on a range of issues.

If someone came up with this at the company I used to work for, they would have fired in a heartbeat. You have a limited window to gather information, and you're wasting it on useless data points like this? Yikes.

And finally...

10. How do you plan to help Democrats win in 2006?

- Contribute to the State Party
- Contribute to candidates
- Vote for Democratic candidates
- Serve as campaign volunteer
- Not planning to help out
- Not sure at this time

See you in '08, guys.

2 comments on this post