Democrats are starting to accept the fact that they won’t win on the economy, jobs, or health care.
So that means it’s time to start throwing everything at the wall and see what sticks.
First up? Social Security.
All of the information I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some of the national polling data and some in local districts as well, show that people are… extremely nervous about privatizing Social Security,” said Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “And they are worried that that’s what Republicans intend to do. They tried it once… and it is a major plank in the road map that was set forth by their point person on the budget committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).”
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the Maryland Democrat said he is taking his cues from the debate that Democrats successfully argued during the turn of George W. Bush’s second term. “The fact is that the American people soundly rejected the Bush privatization proposal,” said Van Hollen. “The events of the past 18 months underscore what kind of economic devastation would have been caused to seniors.”
This week alone, Democrats are set to host 100 town halls centered on keeping Social Security intact. And they’re putting together TV advertisements to air against Republican lawmakers who have supported privatization.
Taking her cue from her masters in DC, as always, Mary Jo Kilroy was one of them as she had her own social security town hall this week in central Ohio.
But can the new strategy work?
A Democratic polling firm seems to think so.
In Thursday morning, the influential Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps released new findings that echoed and amplified Van Hollen’s point. The firm found that 68 percent of respondents responded favorable to a message that: “The federal deficit is a big national problem but we should not make major spending cuts in Social Security or Medicare.” Only 28 percent favored the idea that the federal deficit is such a national problem that we have to cut spending broadly including possible future cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”
Now this seems to make the decision to attack on Social Security a smart one, eh?
Not so much.
Stand alone polling questions like the one asked by Democracy Corps are all fine and dandy. But if the issue at hand doesn’t resonate to the public, scenarios like the one posed to the Democracy Corps sample don’t matter much.
So will Social Security resonate? Not if this question from the recent Reuters-Ipsos poll is any indication:
Didn’t think so.
While the new strategy dreamed up by the Democrats may briefly distract from the issues that matter most to voters, it won’t have any significant effect on the elections in November.
Does that mean Social Security reform doesn’t need addressed? Of course not.
It’s simply not a winning issue for the fall.
But feel free to keep trying, Dems.