This one was held by USAction, a non-partisan organization dedicated to "campaigns to strengthen social, economic and health security for all Americans. We get Americans involved in the political process and promote policies that hold corporate influence in check."
With this progressive populist agenda in mind, this group commissioned a poll on how swing voters might react this year to a strongly progressive economic agenda. You know, radical ideas like rolling back tax cuts for the rich to fund schools, renewable energy and affordable access to health care.
The conference call was with Liberal bloggers, and while I can act all nuanced about it, that's basically where Nettertainment sits. Some very interesting bloggers from all corners of America, maybe 25 of us, were on the call, and the idea is to get the word out and try to influence positioning by actual politicians this fall.
USAction offers this info to anyone, so the GOP and Dems will both receive it in hopes of moving minds, but they expect one side to treat it more favorably, of course. Third party candidates are welcome to the data as well. Again, the group is non-partisan, they just want to -- hey, does this sound square after six years of GOP misrule? -- influence government to help out regular people.
The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rossner Research and the results can be found here in various .pdfs. I suggest just checking out the main presentation (be forewarned, it's a .pdf and will open Adobe Acrobat in your browser window), and I'll just sketch a couple of the major findings, inasmuch as I understand them.
Nearly 3/4 of swing voters (73%) -- sometimes voting Dem, sometimes GOP -- think the U.S. is on the wrong track. Fully 2/3 (66%) disapprove of how El Presidente Bush is handling only the most important job in the world.
If the election were help today (if only!) the overwhelming majority of swing voters and pure independents would vote for a Democratic candidate for Senate or House of Reps over a Republican.
Most importantly, while there are certain self-reliance (see Libertarian) and please-don't-tax-me-more sentiments, the swing voters overwhelmingly support a progressive investment agenda, when presented to them with accountability controls.
And if a candidate favors tax cuts over such an agenda, 2/3 have serious or very serious doubts about that candidate.
Now, all good news, and power to the people, but I have a few caveats before popping election night champagne. You've got a minefield coming up of Karl Rove dirty tricks, Conservatives-in-sheep's-cloth, Conservatives that get elected due to image or personality or Diebold, not to mention the need for the Dems to make a clear claim to be more trusted than their rivals on national security.
The bottom line is that this kind of economic agenda, if properly offered and defended, is one more piece of a winning puzzle, and shouldn't be ignored as it seemed to have been in the last Presidential election, when either John Kerry was insufficiently clear about it or allowed the GOP to paint him so.
A progressive U.S. investment agenda is plenty appealing.
Just ask the swingers.