MyDD Poll: The Structure of the Voter Universe, Part 2
by Sun Tzu, Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 12:55:23 PM EST
This is a long post and a very, very important one. Last time I introduced the psychographics borne out of this poll, a mini-history of the method, and a tree-tops view of the themes and groups in action. This time, we're going to dive deeply into them and go through the demographics and detail relative to specific questions. Next time, I'm going to provide my view of what political communications strategy would look like when based on our findings. Then, the final primary post of this analysis will be my strategic recommendations, including action items. After that, I'll be cleaning up some loose ends, including an experiment designed to test the impact of the OBL tape and probably some detailed pretest/posttest Bush approval analysis.
My goal with this post is for us to more fully understand the groups, on a personal level, so they become familiar to us. I hope you'll be able to recognize real people, friends, neighbors, others, in them, even though we couldn't flesh the groups out more thoroughly this time because of budget and interview time limitations. But, it was the first time out on the MyDD Poll and repeated research will solve that problem nicely, thank you very much. Join me on the flip...
A couple of housekeeping points. First, I usually write up a table, discussing findings, and then show those tabular data following. We're talking about seven separate groups in this post. If I used the usual approach, I'd end up showing the same tables seven times. The post would be a mile longer than it already is. To avoid that, I'm going to show the tabular data for demographics and questions one time, at the end of the post. So that we don't lose any reference or context in the text of the post, I'm adopting a reporting convention I'll insert directly into the text analysis. It's like this: "yadda, yadda (US% / Group%)." (Remember, the margin of error of the data is +/- 3.1 points overall.) Thus, it shakes like this: "It is not surprising the Red Core is strongly dominated by Republicans (30%/62%) but it's important to note it also includes some Independents/Others (38%/28%) and even a few Democrats (33%/10%)." So, in the first notation, we see I'm showing the 30% US Republican number compared to the 62% Red Core Republican number, a difference of 32 points and clearly significant given a 3.1 point margin of error of the data. All data notations in the post work like that.
Second, I'm very, very appreciative of your comments regarding each post. Whatever you want to say or ask, do it. I'll do my level best to respond to questions, issues of each commenter. Given my regular work sched, and it's a bitch of a sched these days, it may take me some time before I do. There are comments to the last post I haven't read yet and others I haven't responded to yet. I ask simply for your patience. I'll be circling back and responding as soon as I possibly can. Thanks, in advance.
Now, let's get to the real work at hand. First up, I need to introduce three more themes found in the analysis. That's a total of five found, including the Bush Meme and fear. As I said last time, the themes analysis is interpretive, so what follows is my view of the meaning of each, given the limited data we have at hand. (I'll provide my interpretive thinking in parentheses.) Further, I'll hit each one quick because you'll see how the themes actually work in the groups analysis below. And the groups analysis is today's analytical target.
The first new theme is religious tolerance. It is a pattern found through two key demographics asked in the survey: religious affiliation (e.g., faith/denomination) and religious orientation (fundamentalist/evangelical, mainstream and liberal). This is a theme I've found repeatedly over many years and when I had the opportunity to measure religiosity more fully. So, while we didn't have a lot of detailed questions that might input more breadth and depth into this theme in this project, finding it here jibes with previous findings and that's why I interpret it in the fuller sense of religious tolerance.
Next up is what I call `trust in external solutions' theme. This is a pattern consisting of the rating of the federal government in protecting the US since 9/11 (`they're protecting me'), the perception of job availability (`the `market' will provide me a good job, decent wages') and whether one has followed Homeland Security's recommendations for disaster preparation (`I'll do my part to help them cope.').
The last one is what I call the Bubba theme. It's a pattern combining the belief right-wing extremists are protecting society (as opposed to pushing too far on policy) and confidence the feds will respond in a timely and effective manner in a disaster, natural or man-made. So there's an aspect of buying in to social conservative political messaging in addition to a (highly naïve) view the feds have disasters covered. FYI, my notes written on the original statistical printout include these: clueless, sheep, falafel (Bill O'Reilly) audience, bubba.
Now, we're locked and loaded. I'm going to go through the groups in-depth, profiling statistically significant findings for each one, discussing: 1) demographic characteristics, 2) psychology and 3) survey questions. You might be surprised at how much we already know, even with limited data. Here `tis:
The Blue Core comprises 13% of the US electorate. It is dominated by Democrats (33%/58%) but it's important to understand Independents/Others (38%/36%) are as likely to be found here as they are nationally. Tellingly, few Republicans are found in this group (29%/6%). Blue Core is more likely to be found in the Rockies (7%/10%) and the West Coast (15%/22%). Further, they tend to live in urbanized areas (27%/30%) Minority voters are a substantial force (20%/29%) as are those who self-identify as religiously liberal (38%/65%). There is no significant difference between US and Blue Core numbers regarding gender or income.
Psychologically, Blue Core voters do not feel personally threatened, as indicated by the Fear theme (41%/79%) and the Terrorism Threat Index (39% `Elevated'/59%).Their negative reaction to the Bush Meme almost reaches unity, or 100% (41%/94%). They are religiously tolerant (27%/41%) and react very negatively to the Bubba theme (42%/70%). This group is average on the external trust theme, no significant difference from the sample norm.
In terms of opinion, they say the US is off on the wrong track (48%/71%), they disapprove of Bush job performance both pretest (50%/87%) and posttest (48%/84%), they recognize serious problems in the job market (25% `jobs rare'/33%), are critical of fed terrorism protection efforts (18%/31%), are neutral on personal safety/security ratings (34%/47%), are not worried about a terrorist attack soon (36%/65%), or that OBL hasn't been captured (48%/66%), are not confident in fed disaster response (45%/59%), opposed the Iraq invasion big time (48%/91%), oppose staying in Iraq for years big time (44%/74%), oppose Murtha's plan (34%/53%), are tuned in to the NSA gig (49% `heard a lot'/55%), believe the government should not have the right to bypass courts on citizen spying (41%/72%), don't trust the NSA to monitor only citizen threats (32%/61%), believe Congress should investigate Dubya (50%/90%), support impeachment if he broke the law (50%/83%) and believe right-wing extremists are pushing public policy too far to the right (42%/53%).
Whew. There they are, based on what we've got right now. The big picture I see with this group is not surprising, to me anyway. They're blue voters straight down the line. Aware, tuned in. Here's a thought, though: Even without a coherent, consistent Blue Meme being communicated out there in the zeitgeist, they've found their own spot and it's a strong one. As I see it, the center of internal gravity of this group is: an Anti-Bush Meme. In other words, they oppose Dubs on every single dimension tested in this study. They are the Blue Core and they oppose the guy. Oppose. Hello Beltway insiders, especially consultants! What a helluva statement this is winging your way from your strongest supporters: "We don't need you to figure things out; we've done it ourselves. Unlike you, we stand in direct opposition. Thanks very fucking much. Not."
Next up is the Urban Blue, comprising 17% of the US electorate. This group is dominated by Democrats, (33%/65%), even more so than Blue Core. It also includes a good chunk of Independents/Others (38%/27%, or a quarter). And Republicans are scarce here, too (29%/8%). A big demographic difference is gender. Women are the strong majority here (53%/64%), which was not so with Blue Core. While Urban Blue are more likely to be found on the West Coast (15%/22%), they are also found throughout the country, particularly in, what a shocker, urban areas (27%/31%). They are more likely minority (20%/24%) and religiously liberal (38%/55%). There is no significant difference from the sample norm relative to this group on income. They're average.
Psychologically, they share a lot with the Blue Core but there are some really huge, and strategically crucial, differences. For example, Urban Blues feel threatened and fearful. Big Time. The Blue Core was opposite of this. Urban Blues, in fact, feel the most threatened of all groups, as shown in the Threat Index (27% High threat/78%). The Fear theme confirms the point (40% fearful/82%). Additionally, these guys are strongly negative toward the Bush Meme (41%/65%), are religiously tolerant (27%/39%) and have the strongest negative reaction to the Bubba theme (42%/86%). Yet they are also positive toward the external trust theme (37%/43%), unlike Blue Core, who was average on it. (The external trust theme data don't surprise me, especially given the urban aspect of this group. They need to trust in external solutions, particularly terrorism protection. It's a logically consistent position for them to take.)
Opinion-wise, they are even stronger on some measures than Blue Core, compared to sample norms. They're most likely to say the US is on the wrong track (48%/86%), to disapprove of Dubs' job performance pretest (50%/94%) and posttest (48%/93%), to say jobs are not available at all (9%/19%) or are rare (25%/32%), are very negative in their rating of fed terrorism protection efforts (18%/43%), feel less safe/secure since 9/11 (24%/48%), are most worried the US will be attacked (34%/69%) and that OBL hasn't been captured (36%/73%), second most likely to have followed DHS disaster prep recommendations (34%/48%), are literally the least confident in fed disaster response (45%/75%), opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion (48%/89%, oppose staying there for years (44%/76%), oppose Murtha's plan (34%/50%), have heard a lot about the NSA gig (49%/65%), are most likely to oppose bypassing the courts on citizen spying (41%/82%), are least likely to trust NSA (32%/71%), strongly believe Congress should investigate Bush lies (50%/90%) and, if he lied, they'll boot his sorry ass in heartbeat (50%/89%). And they really get the point on extremists pushing policy too far right (42%/72%). Luv `em.
So Urban Blue is a real piece `o work group. They are savv-eee politically. And strapped in the shuttle cabin on the launch pad, figuratively speaking, ready to go. They are very, very worried, fearful, and they do trust in external solutions yet they don't believe this government is anywhere close to handling protection or recovery. Or the economy/jobs. Or foreign policy/Iraq. Or domestic policy/NSA. Or, basically, anything. Shit, hit the launch button, now. And, finally, these guys' perception of political reality is also miles and miles ahead of the Beltway insiders, even more so than Blue Core, for chrissakes. These are not `can we all get along' people. Or `Together America Can Do Better' people, the 2006 communications umbrella proposed by the Beltway insiders.
So I imagine you've been waiting for the next group since you saw the last post, outlining the groups. Yep, let's do the Progressives, shall we? And spend some time looking at ourselves, too. I think you'll find this really, really interesting. I hope so. Probably a few surprises, as Progressives, as a group, are more than online progressives.
Let's start with a May Be a surprise: Half (50%) of Progressives are not Democrats. One in six (16%) are Republicans. A third (34%) are Independent/Other. Are they more likely to be Dem than the sample norm? Sure (33%/50%). But this ain't your `normal' blue group, either.
Try this on for size: while they're found all across the country, of course, they're also more likely to be found in the South (30%/35%). A shocker? Not to me, not one whit. I'm a Southern native. I get that right off the bat. It's socially rigid in the South, so either you're going to support the status quo or oppose it. Polarization, folks. A natural outgrowth given the social situation, in my view. And experience. Even more so with a massively dominant, elite class, (Southern Dems or Southern Reps make no difference here) hell-bent to maintain their `superiority' and power over the vast majority of everyone else. Simple. Painful still, but simple.
Here's additional demography: Progressives are more likely to be found in urban (27%/37%) and suburban (35%/38%) areas, are the second-youngest group (14% 35 years of age or less/22%) but also are more likely to be in the oldest age category (20% 65+ years of age/32%). Surprised? Shouldn't be, progressivism is as old as the hills in America. Of course some of our people have been progressives for decades and decades. So, at one level, we're just now catching up to them. More demography: the single most likely group to include minorities (20%/40%), they are also religiously liberal (38%/56%) and the least affluent (26% less than $25K per year/49%). And finally, with an average split on gender, this group is not more likely to be male nor female.
Onward to the psychology. Progressives feel moderately threatened, as indicated by the Threat Index (27% High threat/36%; 39% Medium threat/53%) and the Fear theme (40% fearful/53%). Their negative reaction to the Bush Meme is second strongest of all groups (41%/80%), they're religiously tolerant (27%/40%), they're neutral on the Bubba theme (20%/53%) and are the second least-trusting of external solutions (46%/77%). In short, they're worried, concerned, fearful, despise the Bush Meme (and I would hypothesize it's the power structure behind the Meme they actually despise), are fine with different types of people, religious and Bubbas, and don't give a rat's ass this government says it will `fix this' or `take care of' that.
Opinion-wise, Progressives have yet to gel as a group on several issues. Some, however, are no sweat for them, including the US is off on the wrong track (48%/70%), disapproval of Dubs' job performance pretest (50%/83%) and posttest (48%/79%), a more skeptical view of jobs and wages (37% jobs available, not easy/40%; 25% jobs rare/32%), worry the US will be attacked (34%/47%), that OBL hasn't been captured (36%/54%), they have not followed DHS disaster prep recommendations (61%/77%), they opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion (48%/85%), oppose staying there (44%/82%), oppose Murtha's plan (34%/52%), believe Congress should investigate Dubs' lies (50%/80%) and support booting his butt if he broke the law (50%/89%).
Here's where they're more murky on issues and that murkiness is a key finding I'll discuss in the Applications post. Specifically, Progressives are neutral in their ratings of fed protection efforts since 9/11 (31%/55%), they're neutral in ratings of personal safety/security (34%/50%) but do show a slight lean to `less safe' (12%/20%) and are neutral in confidence in the feds' future disaster response (30%/35%).
The NSA spy gig is an entire area where they're murky, compared to other groups. For example, over half have heard nothing at all about the issue (16%/54%). They don't believe NSA should have the right to bypass the courts and spy on citizens (41%/51%), but they're also more likely to be neutral on that issue (15%/21%). And while Progressives are less likely to trust NSA to spy only on citizens who are potential national security threats (32%/41%), they're also more likely to be neutral (30%/43%) on that one, too. Finally, and most tellingly in my book, Progressives are more likely to be neutral on the `global' measure of whether right-wing extremists are pushing public policy too far to the right (26%/31%).
So, our first, albeit limited, view of Progressives as a national group indicates they are open-minded, vehemently anti-Bush but also in need of more pointed communications, information. Again, more about this later, but in my view these data indicate a crucial strategic issue for the online community: we've got important work to do in our own house. We need to reach, and bring up to speed, our own people if we expect to successfully mobilize them. And these are people who may not be connected online at all, or as thoroughly as we are. We'll find out next time.
Next, we focus on the Heartland Blue. Now, we'll start moving out of partisan party registration and see how political opinions and attitudes determine orientation. For example, this group, 12% of the electorate, is dominated by Independents/Other parties (38%/72%), with only a fifth (33%/21%) Democrats and a smattering of Republicans (29%/8%).
Men (47%/55%) comprise the majority of this group and they are most likely to be found in the Northeast (22%/27%) and Midwest (26%/34%). You might think they're more likely to live in rural areas, but they're not. The urban/suburban/rural split on them reflects the sample norm. They do tend to be older (27% 65+ years of age/34%) and they are heavily Anglo (80%/85%). Half consider themselves religiously mainstream (39%/49%) and they are split between middle income (27% $25K-$49.9K/32%) and affluent (25% $75K+/32%).
In terms of psychology, this is where the rubber meets the road for these guys. They have a very interesting, and completely logical, twist when it comes to threats and fear. They score Medium (39%/57%) and High (27%/30%) on the Terrorism Threat Index, so they perceive national threats above the sample norm. However, those national-level concerns do not translate into personal safety/security worries. They're neutral on the Fear theme (19%/28%). So, for them, threats appear to be more external and less internal. Fascinating. A tantalizingly sophisticated view, I think. I suspect (hypothesize) they likely went bonkers over the Dubai Ports gig because, for them, it was an obvious boneheaded compromise of national security. (Reminiscent of Cleavon Little holding a gun to his own head in Blazing Saddles. "Don't move, or I'll shoot!") It wasn't that a ports disaster would affect them personally in the heartland, in short. It was plainly stupid regarding national security, generally. Logical as the day is long, in my view. Be interesting to test that hypothesis down the road.
Heartland Blue is also neutral on the Bush Meme (16%/29%). Unlike other blue groups, this one is not, by definition, anti-Bush. They're open to him. Hello? They're also neutral on religious tolerance (42%/52%), negative on the Bubba theme (42%/66%) and very negative on trust in external solutions (46%/82%).
So let's re-cap this part of psychology before we go to attitudes. Heartland Blue is, as Bob Seeger sings, `like a rock'. They aren't ruffled by much. Concerned about national security, yeah, but not crazy concerned about it. Not worried Osama's hiding in their flower garden, either. They'll listen to Bush and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC). And the Dems. Pretty steady on religious tolerance, not loading one way or the other. Their hot spots in this research are: a) negative on external solutions, that is, believing the `guvmint' will take care of national security, jobs, and such and b) negative on the Bubba theme, that is, buying into the belief right-wingers are protecting society and the `guvmint' will take care of natural disasters, no sweat.
In terms of attitudes and opinions, Heartland Blue voters say the US is off on the wrong track (48%/68%) and disapprove of Bush both pretest (50%/81%) and posttest (48%/71%) -- (note the 10-point drop between pretest and posttest, folks. Very important, shows they can swing on key issues). They're more likely to say good jobs at decent wages are rare (25%/33%), they're fair/neutral (31%/48%) in the rating of fed protection efforts since 9/11, neutral (34%/47%) on the personal safety rating since 9/11, neutral (30%/44%) to not worried (18%/22%) about terror attacks, or Osama not being captured (neutral: 26%/37%; not worried: 15%/18%). They haven't followed Homeland Security recommendations for attack prep (61%/90%) and are neutral (30%/36%) to not confident (45%/59%) on whether the fed response to a disaster will be timely and effective.
The `blue' in Heartland Blue really jumps out on Iraq. They were big time opponents of the 2003 invasion (48%/69%), oppose staying there with 100K troops (44%/58%) and are big time supporters of Murtha's plan (57%/74%).
Their `blueness' is there, but more subdued, on the NSA gig and investigation/impeachment. They've heard a lot about it (49%/54%), believe the feds should not have the right to bypass courts and spy on citizens (41%/53%) and are neutral on trust in the NSA to monitor only real national security threats (32%/41%). A majority (50%/56%) believe Congress should investigate Dubs and are neutral (12%/17%) to supportive (50%/53%) of impeaching him if he broke the law.
Finally, and I believe most tellingly regarding attitudes, they react strongly to right-wingers pushing public policy too far to the right (42%/61%). In my view, this is the spot, the position, that taps directly into their `blueness', like a T1 Internet connection, and should be a top priority messaging point for any and all Dem campaigns in 2006. The Heartland Blues swing, folks. I believe you can swing them back home, back to blue with this basic startup position: the right wing has gone too far. More about this next time.
It is a great, Grand Canyon-sized understatement to say I have severe doubts whether the DLC/DCCC basic position, `Together America Can Do Better', brings these folks home this year. For Heartland Blue, that line is more like what they hear at the nearest comedy club, I think. (Heartland Blue to Rahm: "Hey, thanks for the yuks and don't forget that syntax problem, buddy".) You get the drift.
Now let's tee up Heartland Red, 8% of the electorate. This is another psychographic group where Independents/Others (38%/63%) dominate, but with about equal numbers of Reps (30%/20%) and Dems (33%/17%). Further, women (53%/67%) dominate this group, interestingly, and they are most likely to be found in the Midwest (26%/37%). Unlike Heartland Blue, almost half of these reds live in rural areas (36%/48%). Further, they're younger (14%/26%). It's also interesting to note minorities are more likely to be in this group (20%/26%), a phenomenon we see in the Southwest: conservative-leaning minorities. These reds are split on religious orientation, more likely to self-identify as fundamentalist/evangelical (23%/26%) and liberal (38%/50%). Finally on demographics, Heartland Red really struggle economically: 26% less than $25K/32%; 27% $25K to $49.9K/32%).
If you were looking only at demographics, you'd think these guys were blue. You'd be wrong.
Psychologically, while they score almost identically to Heartland Blue on the Threat Index (39% medium/58%; 27% high/30%), it is the Fear theme where they appear to differ (40% fearful/61%). More on this below . Further, through the Bush Meme, we know they love, love, love Dubs (43% positive/83%). They are fairly tolerant religiously (27% positive/33%) and strongly positive toward the Bubba theme (38%/76%). Like Heartland Blue, though, they are also non-trusting in external solutions (46% negative/71%).
So the basic psychological profiles show some real similarities and differences with Heartland Blue. Similar on the Threat Index, religious tolerance and distrust of the `guvmint', as shown in the external solutions theme. They're very, very different on personal fear/safety/security, their view of Dubs and the Bush Meme and the Bubba theme.
Attitudinally, the red-ness of this group really comes out. It is the first group to say the US is headed in the right direction, albeit by a slim majority (37%/51%) and to actually approve of Dubs' job performance pretest (43%/77%) and posttest (48%/72%). (Note the five point slippage pre- and post-. They swing on Dubs, like Heartland Blue, just less so.)
However, they are pessimistic on jobs at decent wages (9% unavailable/13%; 25% rare/37%) but they rate fed protection efforts since 9/11 positively (51%/70%).
On the components/questions comprising the Fear theme, we see they're split and gravitate to the middle on the personal safety measure (12% less safe/16%; 34% neutral/38%; 18% safer/28%). It's terror attacks and Osama where they light up (34% worried about attacks/47%; 36% worried about OBL/58%). So, similar to their Heartland Blue brethren, threats and fear are less internally- than externally-based.
Like Heartland Blue, they haven't prepared for an attack (61%/84%) but, unlike Heartland Blue, they are neutral on whether the feds will provide a timely and effective disaster response (30%/46%). Heartland Blue is negative on this issue.
Like Heartland Blue, Iraq is a crucial defining issue for this group. They supported the 2003 invasion (46%/79%), support staying there with 100K troops (50%/69%) and are big time supporters of Murtha's plan (57%/80%).
Both heartland groups are big supporters of Murtha's plan. I'm screaming `hello!' at the top of my lungs at the Beltway boobs. Silence. What a shocker.
These reds are not keyed in on the NSA gig. They've heard a little (34%/51%) or nothing at all (16%/29%). However, their red orientation jumps out on whether the feds should have the right to spy on citizens (44%/62%) even though they're lackadaisical on whether they trust the NSA (30% neutral/45%; 38% positive/43%).
They again show red colors on investigation and impeachment. But their red is muted. Even though it's a major red issue, less than half say Congress should not investigate whether Dubs broke the law or lied (42%/48%). (Red-to-the-bones groups view it differently, as we'll see.) Opposition to impeachment if Dubs broke the law barely cracks half in this group (38%/54%). That's important. There's no groundswell among these guys to keep Dubs if he broke the law.
And finally, they are split on whether right-wing extremists are pushing public policy too far right or are protecting society. They lean protecting society (32%/39%), as one would expect, but over 60% of this group can't bring themselves to sign on to that. Thus, about a third (26%/30%) are neutral and another third (42%/31%) say extremists are pushing too far right. A split on this, a crucial, positioning issue. Among red groups, I'll take that any day.
Next, we start treading into real red territory with Trusting Boomers, 6% of the electorate. This group may be more accurately portrayed as social conservatives, but we didn't have the broad base of measures in this initial MyDD Poll to tease that out. Let's see how they shake out as is and, next time, we'll get additional dimensions of psychology that focus more on this issue.
Demographically, this is the first group with a plurality of Republicans (30%/38%) but it also includes chunks of Independents/Others (38%/28%) and Democrats (33%/34%). The group is dominated by women (53%/70%) and, while found throughout the country, it is the Northeast (22%/26%) and West Coast (15%/20%) where they're most likely found. They are suburban (35%/40%) and rural (36%/44%) residents. They tend to be middle age (46 to 55 years of age 23%/28%) and older (65+ years of age 27%/31%). Anglos (80%/86%) dominate the group and they are religiously mainstream (39%/46%) and, importantly, fundamentalist (23%/33%). Economically, they are fairly well off ($50K to $74.9K 22%/31%), especially considering their suburban and rural residence.
The Terrorism Threat Index shows this group feels threatened in a big way (second only to Urban Blue), with almost half scoring medium (39%/47%) on the scale and half scoring high on it (27%/51%). The Fear theme reiterates the point: fearful 40%/92%. The Bush Meme is a big time hit with these guys (positive 43%/95%), more than any other group (only Heartland Red even came close to them, at 83%). And they are religiously intolerant (31%/49%), a crucial point particularly as it relates to social conservatism. They are neutral on the Bubba theme (20%/53%) and they are very trusting in external solutions (37%/69%), more than any other group. In short, the big moving threads with these guys are fear and threats, the Bush meme/support, religious intolerance and trust in others/external solutions.
Given that, in terms of attitudes and opinions, there's not going to be any big surprises. In fact, get ready for those who buy Dubs' `party line' big time. For example, Trusting Boomers say the US is headed in the right direction (37%/45%) and they approve of Dubs' job performance pretest (43%/66%) and posttest (45%/70%). (Note the pretest/posttest increase in approval: +4 points.) To them the jobs issue is not a problem. They're more likely to say jobs are available, not easy to find (37%/41%) or widely available (18%/25%). They're more likely to rate the feds positively in protecting America since 9/11 (good 38%/52%). As expected, they're neutral (34%/47%) to negative (13%/17%) on rating their personal safety since 9/11. They're highly worried about terror attacks in the near future (34%/77%) and that OBL hasn't been captured (41%/66%). They're much more likely to have followed DHS attack prep guidelines (34%/64%) but they're less than confident (neutral 30%/42%) in a timely and effective response from the feds in the event of a disaster.
Like others, the Iraq issue is a big one for this group, clearly showing their cohesiveness. They were highly supportive of the invasion (46%/74%), are supportive of staying there (50%/84%) and of Murtha's plan (57%/83%). (Another hello! to the Beltway.)
Almost two-thirds (49%/64%) have heard a lot about the NSA gig. They're big supporters of the government having the right to spy on citizens (44%/72%) and they trust NSA to spy only on potential national security threats (38%/46%).
They buy the party line on investigation and impeachment. Congress should not investigate Dubs (42%/67%) and they oppose impeachment and removal if he did break the law (38%/66%). And finally, surprisingly, they're neutral (26%/33%) on whether right-wing extremists are protecting the moral and social fabric of society. Hmm. Food for thought, no doubt.
In the end, the plethora of ways in which this group buys the Gooper line is a hallmark of them. And it's important to note the Gooper strategy plays directly into the underlying dynamics operative in this group: fear, religious intolerance, trust in the `guvmint' and the overall Bush meme. In my view, they are the exemplar, the touchstone, Oberleutnant Rove uses to build the communications/framing strategy of this administration. Look here to understand what the Goopers are trying to do, folks.
Now comes the final group: Red Core. The Big Kahuna. The Big Slice, at 33% of the electorate. This is the group that is dominated by Republicans (30%/62%), with some Independents/Others (38%/28%) and a few Dems (33%/10%). They're male (47%/57%) and they're white (Anglo 80%/90%). They're found all over the country, but most pronounced in the...care to take a guess?...South (30%/35%). They don't pop up regarding residence type; they live in urban, suburban and rural areas pretty much at the sample norms. They don't pop regarding age groups, again, they're found pretty much at sample norms. And I'm sure you will be shocked (not) to find out they're more likely to be fundamentalists (23%/37%) or mainstream (39%/47%) religiously. And I'm sure you'll also be shocked (not) to find out they're affluent ($50K to $74.9K 22%/26%; $75K+ 25%/29%).
Psychologically, Red Core voters score low, the lowest of all groups, on the Terrorism Threat Index (34%/74%) and they are not fearful (41%/67%). They buy the Bush Meme in a big way (43%/70%), although not as strongly as Heartland Red and Trusting Boomers. Which is a very interesting finding in and of itself. They're very positive toward the Bubba theme (38%/57%). They're neutral (42%/46%) to negative (31%/40%), on religious tolerance, showing this is a key connection between them and Trusting Boomers. And they show another key connection with them by also being positively-oriented toward trust in external solutions (37%/54%).
In terms of attitudes and opinions, we'll also find no surprises here, with this group. The US is headed in the right direction (37%/75%) and they approve of Dubs' job performance pretest (43%/89%) and posttest (45%/91%). Jobs are no problem in Dubs' economy; they're either available, not easy to find (37%/40%) or widely available (18%/35%). The feds are doing great in protecting the US since 9/11 (positive 52%/86%) and they certainly feel safer since then (42%/76%). They're not worried about terrorism attacks in the near future (36%/56%) or that OBL hasn't been captured (38%/65%). And they're more likely to have taken DHS disaster prep guidelines to heart (34%/42%), in addition to being confident in the feds' timely and effective response should a disaster occur (25%/53%).
Iraq is no problem for these guys. Almost all supported the invasion (46%/90%), they support staying there (50%/83%) and Murtha's plan (57%/63%). (I'm tired of saying hello! to the Beltway on this. Jeebus, jiminy crickets, people.)
The NSA spy gig is no problem. They've heard a lot about it (49%/54%). NSA spying on citizens is just fine with them (44%/79%), thank you very much, and they, of course, trust NSA to spy only on the wannabe OBLs hiding in the flower garden (38%/71%).
No question what to do on investigation and impeachment. Don't investigate (42%/80%) and don't impeach (oppose 38%/68%). Simple, you ignorant liberals. And, oh by the way, those right-wingers are out there are protecting the moral and social fabric of society (32%/56%), in case you were wondering about that. As Falafel Bill O'Reilly says: "Now, shut up!"
Yeah, right. The certainty of the ignorant and unscrupulous is a dangerous thing, in my view. It's why we must understand voters from a more nuanced, more sophisticated and, most importantly, more human perspective than run-of-the-mill demography, as our Beltway Bums are wont to do. Humans are so much more than their characteristics, like age, gender, income and such. Not only is the standard demographic approach an insult to people, voters, it's also incredibly stupid. It leads to political failure because our campaigns deal with voters from the incomplete, mechanical view of demography. Republicans use psychographics, data mining techniques and they construct, and most importantly, effectively use sophisticated targeting databases.
This we must do. We, the netroots. We must change how we learn, what we learn and how we wage campaigns in order to survive. We must. This is what Jerome, Markos and I talked extensively about when they were here. In my view, we have no choice and we have few allies in this effort, especially inside The Gate.
So, get ready. Next time I'll take the knowledge we've gained through the MyDD Poll and apply it to communications strategy. We'll see how it measures up to `Together America Can Do Better', or whatever embarrassing crap the Beltway is offering these days. In the meantime, keep the faith.
Below are the crosstab tables for your review. Hope you've enjoyed the post and found it useful. Hasta.
Blue Urban Pro- land land Trusting Red
US Core Blue gressives Blue Red Boomers Core
Democrat 33% 58% 65% 50% 21% 17% 34% 10%
Republican 29 6 8 16 8 20 38 62
Indep/Other 38 36 27 34 71 63 28 28
Male 47 47 36 47 55 32 30 57
Female 53 53 64 53 45 68 70 43
Northeast 22 21 22 22 27 16 26 21
South 30 22 26 35 24 30 32 36
Midwest 26 24 23 23 34 37 18 26
Rockies 7 10 7 8 5 4 3 7
West Coast 15 22 22 12 10 13 20 10
Urban 27 30 31 37 29 20 16 24
Suburban 35 34 33 38 33 31 40 37
Rural 36 32 33 23 37 48 44 38
35 yrs. or less 14 9 11 22 12 26 6 15
36 to 45 yrs. 15 16 14 9 16 14 14 17
46 to 55 yrs. 23 24 27 24 23 19 28 21
56 to 65 yrs. 21 25 26 13 15 14 20 21
65+ yrs. 27 26 22 32 34 27 31 26
Anglo 80 71 76 60 85 74 86 90
Minority 20 29 24 40 15 26 14 10
Fund/Evan. 23 5 14 10 17 26 33 37
Mainstream 39 30 31 34 49 24 46 47
Liberal 38 65 55 56 34 50 21 16
Less than $25K 26 25 28 49 20 32 25 17
$25K to $49.9K 27 28 23 27 32 33 21 28
$50K to $74.9K 22 24 23 12 16 18 31 26
$75K + 25 23 26 12 32 17 23 29
Terrorism Threat Index and Themes
Terrorism Threat Index:
High Medium Low
US 27% 39% 34%
Blue Core 5 59 37
Urban Blue 78 21 1
Progressives 36 53 11
Heartland Blue 30 57 13
Heartland Red 30 58 12
Trusting Boomers 51 47 2
Red Core 1 25 74
Fearful Neutral Not fearful
US 40% 19% 41%
Blue Core 9 12 79
Urban Blue 82 14 4
Progressives 53 33 14
Heartland Blue 29 28 43
Heartland Red 61 22 17
Trusting Boomers 92 8 0
Red Core 15 18 67
Positive Neutral Negative
US 43% 16% 41%
Blue Core 1 5 94
Urban Blue 13 22 65
Progressives 5 15 80
Heartland Blue 41 29 30
Heartland Red 83 7 10
Trusting Boomers 95 3 2
Red Core 70 16 14
Religious Tolerance theme:
Positive Neutral Negative
US 27% 42% 31%
Blue Core 41 44 15
Urban Blue 39 32 29
Progressives 40 39 21
Heartland Blue 22 52 26
Heartland Red 33 41 26
Trusting Boomers 17 34 49
Red Core 13 47 40
Positive Neutral Negative
US 38% 20% 42%
Blue Core 18 12 70
Urban Blue 5 9 86
Progressives 66 19 15
Heartland Blue 12 12 76
Heartland Red 76 14 10
Trusting Boomers 15 53 32
Red Core 57 29 14
Trust in External Solutions theme:
Trust Neutral Distrust
US 37% 17% 46%
Blue Core 36 16 47
Urban Blue 43 16 41
Progressives 12 11 77
Heartland Blue 8 10 82
Heartland Red 10 19 71
Trusting Boomers 69 9 22
Red Core 54 23 23
Direction US is headed:
Right Direction Wrong Track Not Sure
US 37% 48% 15%
Blue Core 13 71 16
Urban Blue 6 86 8
Progressives 11 70 19
Heartland Blue 10 68 22
Heartland Red 51 32 17
Trusting Boomers 45 31 24
Red Core &n