Poll: Democrats Must Stop Taking Credit for a Jobless Recovery

(photo: ep_jhu)
(photo: ep_jhu)

A new poll from Democracy Corps includes a key data point, suggesting that the Obama Administration tactic of claiming that the economy would have been worse without their actions, regardless of the truth of the statement, is a political loser.

The poll, taken in 60 of the most competitive Congressional districts, shows that over half of respondents believe that the President’s economic recovery plan could help, but only one-third think the economy has begun to improve. And the polling memo goes on to say:

That half in these swing (but Republican-leaning) districts believe that President Obama’s economic recovery plan could help suggests the economy could break in favor of Democrats, but the country is not ready to listen to a narrative about how Democrats have brought the economy “back from the brink” and averted an even worse disaster, as articulated by the president in his joint session address to Congress earlier this year. That leaves a lot of receptivity to Republican messages that focus on wasted spending and exploding deficits. On the other hand, focusing on the specific benefits in the stimulus package that have helped working Americans through the crisis and on rebalancing the economy so it works for the middle class (not just the wealthy) has a much bigger impact and effectively challenges the Republican narrative.

Here’s the key piece from the poll:

Considering these results, it is not surprising that a message taking credit for “bold and decisive action” that “pulled this economy back from the brink” fell completely flat with these voters. Across the entire congressional battleground, just 43 percent of voters found this argument convincing, easily the lowest of six Democratic economic messages tested. The timing for such a message is clearly way off – and leaves the voters to hear Republican interpretations of the economy that, at this juncture, are much more in touch with the reality voters are feeling.

With unemployment at 10.2%, absolutely nobody is willing to swallow the “back from the brink” narrative. To those 10%, not to mention the long-term unemployed and underemployed, their personal economy is already at the brink. It’s extremely hard to prove a negative like that, especially when the country continues to feel like it’s in recession.

That line of argument won’t succeed. If you want to help people in their economic struggles, you’re going to have to do more than talking them into it. You’re going to have to give them some tangible help.

Poll: Democrats Must Stop Taking Credit For A Jobless Recovery

A new poll from Democracy Corps includes a key data point, suggesting that the Obama Administration tactic of claiming that the economy would have been worse without their actions, regardless of the truth of the statement, is a political loser.

The poll, taken in 60 of the most competitive Congressional districts, shows that over half of respondents believe that the President’s economic recovery plan could help, but only one-third think the economy has begun to improve. And the polling memo goes on to say:

That half in these swing (but Republican-leaning) districts believe that President Obama’s economic recovery plan could help suggests the economy could break in favor of Democrats, but the country is not ready to listen to a narrative about how Democrats have brought the economy “back from the brink” and averted an even worse disaster, as articulated by the president in his joint session address to Congress earlier this year. That leaves a lot of receptivity to Republican messages that focus on wasted spending and exploding deficits. On the other hand, focusing on the specific benefits in the stimulus package that have helped working Americans through the crisis and on rebalancing the economy so it works for the middle class (not just the wealthy) has a much bigger impact and effectively challenges the Republican narrative.

Here’s the key piece from the poll:

Considering these results, it is not surprising that a message taking credit for “bold and decisive action” that “pulled this economy back from the brink” fell completely flat with these voters. Across the entire congressional battleground, just 43 percent of voters found this argument convincing, easily the lowest of six Democratic economic messages tested. The timing for such a message is clearly way off – and leaves the voters to hear Republican interpretations of the economy that, at this juncture, are much more in touch with the reality voters are feeling.

With unemployment at 10.2%, absolutely nobody is willing to swallow the “back from the brink” narrative. To those 10%, not to mention the long-term unemployed and underemployed, their personal economy is already at the brink. It’s extremely hard to prove a negative like that, especially when the country continues to feel like it’s in recession.

That line of argument won’t succeed. If you want to help people in their economic struggles, you’re going to have to do more than talking them into it. You’re going to have to give them some tangible help.