In a new report released by James Carville’s liberal nonprofit public opinion research group, Democracy Corps, data from focus groups shows that Barack Obama is taking the wrong approach to the campaign by focusing on economic issues.
The co-authors of the report, Carville, Stan Greenberg and Erica Seifert, claim that the Obama campaign must “move to a new narrative” in order to be successful in November. The authors use the first person plural “we” throughout the report to describe Democratic efforts.
The current campaign is focused on success in the economic recovery, but Carville’s group says the strategy is “wrong” and “will fail.” The only reason Obama is keeping up in the campaign is because voters perceive Romney as “out of touch with ordinary people.”
The authors recommend that Obama show more empathy for the struggles of the middle class. “These voters want to know that he understands the struggle of working families and has plans to make things better,” according to the report.
The report is based on findings from several focus groups of independent voters in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“These voters are not convinced that we are headed in the right direction…and the current narrative about progress just misses the opportunity to connect and point forward,” continues the report.
In tests done as part of the focus groups, Obama campaign ads that highlight job growth and economic recovery during the last four years did not even win over voters who already supported Obama.
While most of the voters in the focus groups were forceful in their complaints about Romney’s lack of connection with the working class, they seemed to agree that he would do a better job than Obama on the economy.