Dems can win economic debate, says Clinton’s pollster

The current Republican political pitch to voters is powerful, but Democrats can win back perhaps 20 to 45 seats in the House if they offer a forward-leaning message to voters, according to an extensive analysis by Stan Greenberg, who worked as resident Bill Clinton’s primary pollster.

“If Democrats gets it…there’s a potential for immense dividends,” Greenberg said Thursday.

Greenberg’s pitch, dubbed “The Path to Democratic Ascendancy on the Economy,” is based on an extensive poll of 1,500 people, as well as focus-groups where he interviewed voters to assess their concerns. Greenberg says he is now pitching his strategy to Democrats, and they’re receptive. Greenberg is co-founder of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a successful Democratic polling firm.

The voters’ attitudes are being battered by four major factors, including a painful decline in incomes and employment, a sense of betrayal by U.S. companies and political leaders, a judgement that inside-the-Beltway corruption will make economic change impossible, and growing fear of expanding debts, burden and overseas competition. “The Middle Class is smashed,” and only 19 percent of people have a “warm attitude” towards the economy, he said. Sixty-six percent of people have a cold, or negative attitude towards the economy, he said.

No president has been reelected for decades when the unemployment rate exceeds eight percent, he said. Today, the rate is at nine percent, and by alternative estimates, well over 10 percent.

Most Democrats and Republicans see these circumstances as a warm-up to an economic recovery, where each party’s economic prescriptions will be validated or discredited, he said. But the four factors are the new reality, and neither party will gain by citing past problems, he said. “The past is a trap, the debate over the past and financial crash and recovery and what was handed to the country by the Bush administration, is something the country has almost no interest in,” he said.

For example, he said, GOP candidates who use a message that looks back to blame Democrats for the failed stimulus, or slam the president’s medical-sector law, persuades only a minority of voters — roughly in the mid-40s — to look favorably at the candidate.

Backward-looking messages from Democrats also do poorly, he said. The pitch that Democrats “were handed a mess, but are working to get back” scores a favorable rating of 44 percent. The alternative pitch to voters –“don’t go back, things are getting better” — wins a favorable reaction from only 32 percent of voters, he said.

The main Republican narrative, he said, focuses on the need to aid the economy by reducing government spending and the deficit. That wins favorable reactions from 56 percent of people, but once pushed, it deeply damages the GOP’s prospects, he said. For example, the GOP’s embrace of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan has pushed its poll ratings down from 51 percent to 44 percent in only a month, he said. The Democrats’ numbers have remained stuck at 35 percent, he said.

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  • mundakal

    If ObamOron gets reelected its the people’s fault. Drinking too much of the blue koolaid will get you more handouts as the Moron-in-Chief has proved time and again. Time to dump this Moron-in-Chief and his band of smoochers – boot them out or suffer the effects for the next many generations.

  • virginiagentleman

    Got hold of some really bad acid, did ya Stan? Go and lay down with your blanky. I’m sure you’ll feel better once your bad acid trip is done….

  • nickel1951

    2012 Democratic talking points Summary is:
    Government has the only answer to the weak economy. Spend more and if it doesn’t work, blame it on the fact we obviously didn’t spend enough. If it does work ask them to do it again. Who knew? Miracles might happen. Even a blind pig and all that.
    Government spending will create more jobs for government workers who vote. Need I say more?
    It is going to take years to work so stay the course. Even if there is no indication that it will ever work, we would still prefer to have your money so keep us in office so we can continue to rape and pillage the US Treasury, which of course is really the only thing we care about. Suckers.
    Bipartisanship is good to talk about It is all bullshit but we will incessantly claim we believe in it since that makes us look like we actually give a shit.
    Keep sending more and more money to our public teachers unions under the banner of more and more money for Education is an unquestionable good. I mean literally you can’t question it. We need those teacher votes and the teachers pay a boatload of their union dues directly into Democratic campaign coffers. So, no you can’t question it. It is fundamental.
    The “rich” should pay at least enough to pay for more of the same spending craziness. In this case that means a 62% marginal state/local tax rate is socially just. The “other guy” pays the check mentality is appealing to all moochers there are a lot of moochers, so this is a winner strategy.

  • empiresentry

    Just another pollster pitching what he thinks his potential client,the dems, will like to hear so they will hire his firm. It would be more interesting to see the actual questions and how he sliced and diced them to steer his outcome, and thus, the media perception. Yuck

  • pictorial

    Mr. Greenberg is married to Rosa De Lauro (Is that her name)? Mr. Greenberg now looks like Harry Reid (see above photo). Mr. Greenberg hasn’t gotten the memo yet that “polls” and “Democrats” can’t be used in the same sentence without hearty chuckles.
    I suggest Mr. Greenberg take his talents to Newton Minow and Bruce Osnos. They have a new “Chicago News Cooperative” with Hard Left Donors and everything. (We call it WhitewashGate).

  • bigdave

    Does this man look like a DERANGED LUNATIC to you? Well, he IS, yet he is a SYMBOL of the DEMORAT PARTY!! KEEP THE INSANITY GOING!!

    • gAMEoVER

      Get what.Vote with your wallet. obamas defeat will be sweet.

  • fourleafclover

    “If Democrats gets it…there’s a potential for immense dividends,”

    If Democrats get it they will change their ideology and become Republicans. If Democrats get it they wouldn’t have voted in a failed stimulus bill or run the deficit up $5 trillion in 2 1/2 years. Greenberg is a crackpot. Democrats will never get it.

  • Tricia

    The problem Greenberg does not dare meniton is that we are all also tired of strategists (and pollsters) trying to tell politicians what to SAY–it apparently does not matter what they actually DO. Earth to strategists–messaging us only words, words, and more words. Pronises unkept are dirving us crazy and our country into the ground.

  • HardRightTurn

    Leftist wishful thinking is getting tiresome. Obamanomics is tanking the economy. He has no plan, none whatsoever. All he has is a smile.