Aug 25 2008

Its The Independents …

Published by at 7:55 pm under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

As many know I have been saying for over a year this is the election of the independents, who are repulsed by the fringes left and right and their manic obsession with party purity. It was the denigrating comments of the far right that lost the independents to the Dems in 2006, and it is the reason John McCain is now the GOP standard bearer and not a darling of the far right.  There is a reason Hannity, Savage, Levin and Ingraham are not happy with the direction of the GOP. 

Interestingly, Frank Luntz has put together a focus group of the independents for this week’s Democrat convention.  And what it is showing right now is really bad news for Obama and his feel-good facade of a campaign:

–“Change” as a theme is over. Too vague. And Obama’s rhetoric has begun to seriously cut against him. “No more oratory,” one woman said. “Give us details.”

Obama has no details, no core beliefs outside the idea we must run from Iraq at all costs. He has flip-flopped in abortion, gun ownership, the NSA-FISA issue, free trade, etc. No matter where Obama turns on the ‘details’ he either loses the liberal left or the moderate middle – and more than likely both.  He keeps trying to weasel word his way through with vagaries, like a used car salesman avoiding the defects – and Americans are fed up with it.

What do they want? Given a list of 31 personal attributes the next President might have and asked to pick the eight most important, “Accountability” finished highest with 13 votes, next was “Someone I can trust” with 12, “honest and ethical” was third with 11. “Agrees with me on the issues” got one vote. They didn’t care if the candidate was a Washington insider or outsider. “A dynamic and charismatic leader” got two votes…(Add: When Luntz asked them which was more important, “accountability” or “change,” the vote was 17 to 4 in favor of accountability.)

–Promises don’t work. Whenever Obama promised a $1000 tax break in one of the ads, the reaction was negative–the dial ratings went south. When he said that we’d spend less money on health if people took better care of themselves, the independents–many of whom were, shall we say, Big Gulp Americans–responded well.

The entire dynamic is against the rookie Obama.  What seemed like such a winning choice a few months ago in the glow of a dazzled and distracted media is now looking like the longest of long shots. He cannot con a skeptical and completely unaffiliated block of voters who will determine this election. His Jedi mind tricks won’t work on them – they want hard, honest answers.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Its The Independents …”

  1. Concerned Citizen says:


  2. gwood says:

    AJ you are right on the mark to use the word “con”; the last four Dem presidential campaigns can be described as attempted con jobs.

    Democrats have to purport to be what they are not, because behind the cloak is pure socialist ideology. How else can we read them? They have demonized corporations, vilified business and business people, constantly go onto college campuses to exhort our young to “public service” because it’s more noble, and have succeeded in convincing most of us that capitalism is killing mother nature herself.Is there any wonder we end up with extremely flawed candidates from their side, given what they have to hide from us? History has proved them wrong. Daily events prove them wrong, yet half the vote will go to them this fall, if not more.

    Maybe there’s a cumulative effect here, and the people have seen Obama for what he is sooner than in previous elections. He’s certainly not hiding who he really is very effectively, I think his numbers are dropping because people are onto the fact they are being conned.

  3. DJStrata says:

    Obama’s lack of a clear detailed plan for his time in office reminds me of Jerry Kilgore running for VA governor 3 years ago. I was originially working on Sean Connaughton’s Lt. Gov race and Bob McDonnell’s AG race. But once we had the Republican ticket I decided to work with the team and help everyone. Kilgore was never able to answer a question about an issue with a detailed message. His answer’s were very vague. His ads were vague on his message (whatever it was) or attack ads on Kaine.

    If it wasn’t able to work in a statewide arena, what dumb political consultant thinks its going to work in the nation arena?

    It turns people off when they can’t back a message and not just a face and name. Name recognition is not everything. Just like the title of a book isn’t everything. You need substance and a message to convey. Obama is done without a message. And if they haven’t figured it out by now then they won’t.