The Next Polling Project: Why Did Francine Busby Lose?
by Chris Bowers, Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 05:02:40 AM EDT
As fast moving as everything is right now, we have decided to speed things up even more. In fact, the third polling project is about to begin, and it is very time sensitive. For our next survey, which will take place in conjunction with The Courage Campaign, we will be attempting to figure out why Francine Busby lost in the CA-50. Figuring out why she lost is neither an academic nor a localized question. This was the first congressional general election of 2006, and in order to produce better results nationwide in November, we need to figure out what worked, and what did not.
We appear to be dealing with a Democratic establishment that does not know how to win anymore. If they can't figure it out, we need to step up and do so ourselves. While I think many of us have some very good deductive and armchair rationales, those reasons must be supported by actual research in order to change the conventional wisdom. As the Courage Campaign writes: Francine is a compelling candidate in many ways. She is humble, direct, intelligent, and eminently likeable. Here's the point: she was at the center of a truly national election so she got a lot of money, but that money came with strings; the "experts" in D.C. decided what the campaign did every day...and she still lost.
But why? We want to find out exactly what happened in June so as not to repeat it in November, both for her and for other elections around the country.
- Did the Democrats' "culture of corruption" frame fail? Or did Francine do the most humanly possible in a highly Republican district?
- How did immigration play? Was she right to tout her agreement with Bush and McCain on the issue? What was the Latino voter sentiment?
- As Matt Stoller at MyDD says, Busby's eleventh hour "gaffe" was inevitable in a race run by consultants who demand milquetoast statements day after day. How many points did that cost her?
- Was it the DCCC's strategy that failed Busby? Was Markos right this weekend when he said this was a winnable seat but that the Democrats just didn't commit all the resources they could have to win?
- And most important of all, what would have pushed Busby over the edge?
Like with the first polling project, we are soliciting your suggestions in the comments for what we should include in this poll. We need your help to make sure that this poll is done right. What questions would you ask? What do you want to know? Also, we will use GQR for the survey, because they have experience in this field and because using GQR is the best way to get the attention of the Democratic establishment.
The Courage Campaign has already chipped in $5,000 for this poll, and I am sure will be able to raise more from their members. I will personally pledge $250. We need another $14,750, less whatever the Courage Campaign can raise. I'd love it if the MyDD community could chip in a couple grand toward the project, especially since we fell short on our BlogPac fundraiser.
Time is short, and every day that passes makes the information we need to know more difficult to come by. As much as we need to know this information in advance of the 2006 elections, a poll like this has to be done quickly after an election in order to be useful. People will soon forget their motivations for if, why, and how they voted last week. We need to money to make this survey happen immediately, and the right questions to make it useful. Please, help on both counts. Post your suggestion for the poll in the comments. You can donate here.
Update: I made a mistake--we have not decided on a polling yet for sure. That was an error on my part. I apologize.