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November 6, 2010

Catching The "Swing" Vote

-- by Dave Johnson

Here is what is very impportant to understand about the "swing" vote: No voters “switched.” That is the wrong lesson. There are not voters who “swing” there is a segment that swings, depending on who turns out.

The lesson to learn: You have to deliver for YOUR part of that swing segment or they don’t show up and vote for you. That is what makes the segment "swing."

Any Democrat politician who thinks ANY conservative will vote for ANY Democrat, no matter how far right they move, is a fool. All that does is cause your voters in that swing segment to turn away from you.

The polling supports this conclusion. Greg Sargent, in Progressives and centrists battle over meaning of indy vote,

Independents are not a monolith, and what really happened is that indys who backed Obama in 2008 stayed home, because they were unsatisfied with Obama's half-baked reform agenda, while McCain-supporting indys turned out in big numbers.

. . . The key finding: PPP asked independents who did vote in 2010 who they had supported in 2008. The results: Fifty one percent of independents who voted this time supported McCain last time, versus only 42 percent who backed Obama last time. In 2008, Obama won indies by eight percent.

That means the complexion of indies who turned out this time is far different from last time around, argues Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. His case: Dem-leaning indys stayed home this time while GOP-leaning ones came out -- proof, he insists, that the Dems' primary problem is they failed to inspire indys who are inclined to support them.

"The dumbest thing Democrats could do right now is listen to those like Third Way who urge Democrats to repeat their mistake by caving to Republicans and corporations instead of fighting boldly for popular progressive reforms and reminding Americans why they were inspired in 2008," Green says.


Posted by Dave Johnson at November 6, 2010 7:39 AM


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