Democratic strategist James Carville’s firm, Democracy Corps, unveiled a study that shows not only have “George Bush” attacks failed to damage Republicans, in fact, they’ve helped the GOP.
If only Democrats had listened to 3BP 13 months ago.
The weakest messages assert we should “go forward, not back.” Voters are not moved by Democratic messages that say ‘go forward, not back,’ mention President Bush, compare then and now, or even that hint the economy is “showing signs of progress.” No matter how dramatically these messages set out the record of Republican obstructionism, their work for the wealthiest and Goldman Sachs, the millions of jobs lost and Democrats’ support for jobs, small business and new industries – these messages falter before the Republican attack.
The messages get lower scores and lose voters. After hearing this battle of Republican and Democratic messages, 8 percent shift their vote to support the Republican, while only 5 percent move to the Democrats. We lose ground. These messages are helping the Republicans.
Even more interesting, the firm’s list of tactics not to use this campaign season read like a line-by-line of Governor Strickland’s campaign strategy:
- Try to convince people things are good/getting better – that is out of step with what they see and feel everyday.
- Read your resume of accomplishments. Things as they are aren’t good enough – explain how we will do better.
- Talk a lot about spending – when most important is who you are fighting and who the Republicans are defending.
- Run on the past. People are more concerned with how we get out of the mess than how we got here.