You can’t make chicken soup out of chicken shit

Dems to Obama: Voters don’t believe economy talk

Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville have released a striking new report arguing in stark terms that some key voting groups now reject President Obama’s claim that the economy is improving — and may well reject Obama himself in November.

Democracy Corps, the political consulting group run by Greenberg and Carville, showed several Obama campaign commercials to focus groups in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Several of the group members, who were “all independents or weak partisans and ticket-splitters” and included both Obama and McCain voters from 2008, became irritated when shown Obama ads touting economic improvement. They don’t see that improvement in their own lives, the report says, and they don’t believe Obama when he claims things are better.

“The spots that simply talk about progress on the economy did not do well,” Greenberg and Carville write. “The first offered a graphic depiction of job decline during the early months of the recession and job growth under President Obama. The second highlighted progress on jobs in the automobile industry. These ads did not win over most Obama voters….Half the participants in the groups had voted for Obama, but less than a quarter gave [the auto ad] a positive rating. The spot displaying the job growth graph did not fare much better: only about one-third (12 out of 34) gave this a positive rating.”

“It’s like how things are getting better? Where?” asked one non-college-educated woman in Columbia, Ohio. “I don’t see it. Makes me mad.” Even Obama’s oft-made claim that he saved the auto industry angered some. “The auto industry spot, surprisingly, produces a lot of resentment,” Greenberg and Carville write. “Women in particular did not see how it related to them, and even some men working outside manufacturing thought it left them out.” As one woman in Ohio said: “Good job for the autoworkers, but where does that leave my grandchildren?”

After extensive interviews with the groups, Greenberg and Carville conclude that Obama’s current campaign message — that he inherited a terrible economy but that now things are getting better — is disastrously wrong. “We will face an impossible headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative,” Greenberg and Carville write, “one that contextualizes the recovery but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class.”

“It is elites who are creating a conventional wisdom that an incumbent president must run on his economic performance — and therefore must convince voters that things are moving in the right direction,” Greenberg and Carville conclude. “They are wrong, and that will fail.”

Before you get too excited, the voters don’t like Romney much either. If ever there was a year for a third-party candidate to win, this is it. The only problem is there isn’t one. Well, there is one, but she ain’t running.

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27 Responses to You can’t make chicken soup out of chicken shit

  1. DM says:

    When Obama says that he saved the auto industry, he is telling me that my neighbor is eating. That’s nice, but it doesn’t help me.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    People don’t watch the news to figure out how the economy is doing. They look at their paychecks. They talk to their friends, family and neighbors. They see vacant houses, closed up storefronts and empty parking lots.

    Supposedly the recovery started 3 years ago, but people aren’t feeling it. The people who think the economy is doing fine never felt the pinch in the first place.

    • DM says:

      Many who are employed are in financial stress because they have had to accept lower paying or part-time jobs.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        That’s me. I went from a secure, well-paying middle class job to making less than $20,000 a year teaching more classes than full-time faculty. I can buy insurance, but so far that insurance has denied every claim I’ve made, calling it a “pre-existing condition,” which it is not. I’ve had to appeal every single item on the bill. So yeah, life still sucks really bad even though I am finally employed and love my work. I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

  3. myiq2xu says:


    President Obama isn’t happy with Mitt Romney’s attacks against him on Twitter. During his fundraiser in Baltimore today, the president complained about “the other side” and their campaign tactics against his economic message.

    “(T)he other side feels that its enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault.’” Obama said, according to the pool report. “And, you can pretty much put their campaign on, on a tweet and have some characters to spare.”

    This from the guy who revolutionized campaigning with social media.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    By attacking Romney’s Gov. term and going to record numbers of fundraisers isn’t going to be the best campaign strategy for re-hiring Obama.

  5. r u reddy says:

    It may depend on what part of Ohio and/or Pennsylvania one lives in.
    The forced cramdown-reorganization of GM and Chrysler didn’t create any new jobs, but it did prevent the sudden extinction of about a million jobs or so in the mid-Great Lakes area. Everyone living here is aware of all the second-tier jobs at auto-components suppliers selling car-part systems to the car companies, and everyone living here is aware of all the third-tier jobs at the lesser auto-compenent-part suppliers supplying the lowest level parts and pieces to the major auto component suppliers. And everyone here is aware of how the people working in all those plants and shops spend their money throughout the retail economy, make their house payments, etc. Also, many people here may remember that reps from Toyota and Honda and Ford lobbied hard for passage of that Chrysler-GM rescue because Toyota/Honda feared for their supply chains if a Chrysler-GM liquidation exterminated the suppliers. And Ford feared it would be driven bankrupt itself by the sudden extinction of its supply chains.

    So Obama may get a large gratitude-vote in the Chrysler-GM footprint area. Polling should be done in that area to see what people say they are thinking. Maybe disaffection outside the Chrysler-GM footprint area could be enough to pressure Obama into resigning the nomination if it is leveraged and weaponised fast and hard enough.

    • Good point. We live in NW PA- tool and die and auto components.
      Solid red our county- and the entire I-79 corridor- excluding Erie County and the districts surrounding Pittsburgh.
      We all went heavily for Hillary and then in overwhelming numbers for McCain. Which all was of no importance, as they threw the primary votes off the Rocky Mountains and in the general, none of our votes count- only Philly and Pittsburgh.
      Have I mentioned I absolutely loathe and detest the winner take all awarding of electoral votes?

      • DM says:

        When California votes (I live in CA) for a candidate all its votes should go to that candidate. A federation should not split its vote. Maybe you forget that we are a federation of states, and that’s why you loathe the winner take all electoral vote system.

      • DM says:

        Also, I doubt that splitting the vote, like a few states do, would change the outcome because the electoral votes are proportional, as counted in the last census, to the population of the states.

        • No I have not forgotten. But the system makes it pointless for those of us in the middle and western PA to even cast a vote. What for? They don’t count. Our district is over ridden. So why bother to vote in any but local elections?

        • In other words, I believe each district’s voters should be entitled to have their votes actually count. Each district should be entitled to have our electoral college representative cast their vote as the voters of that district indicated. Otherwise, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in casting a vote in the less populated counties.
          Thanks be to God we at least have voter ID laws here..

      • wmcb says:

        Winner take all made sense at the time it was instituted. But now if you have a major city, the rest of the state may as well not vote.

        It’s the same problem that prompted our founders to go with electoral votes rather than nationwide popular vote. Cities will vote for urban interests, and screw the farms and rural areas. The electoral vote, while imperfect, was an attempt to avoid screwing frontier and rural states.

        IMO, we might now need to do the same thing on the state level, due to our population growth. Cities would still get MORE electoral votes. They just couldn’t control them all.

        • Exactly wmcb. Philly and Pittsburgh would still get the lion’s share of votes- but at least we would be counted dammit!
          And there is no chance in hell of any black panther thugs getting away with their bullshit intimidation tactics out here. They would be put directly in jail.
          It does suck- because even if only ONE voter goes to the polls in every district in Philly and Pittsburgh and 20000 vote in our county (and other less blue counties) that one vote in each of those districts would still override us.

        • wmcb says:

          IOW, we had the chance at the start to go with a nationwide winner takes all system. We (wisely IMO) didn’t. We went proportional by state. I have no problem with extending that concept to proportional by district, now that our population is so much larger.

        • wmcb says:

          Yep. The point of the electoral vote system was so that the big population centers (at that time it was the populous states) didn’t leave the others with no representation in the presidential vote.

          We now have the exact same problem all over again.

        • Oswald says:

          I have no problem with extending that concept to proportional by district, now that our population is so much larger.

          Win the district, win that electoral vote. Win the state, win the other two. That puts every district potentially “in play”

      • r u reddy says:

        Are their any parts of NW PA which are so preponderantly tied in to the car-building economy as to be dependent on its health for their health? If so, do the people of such car-economy-regions percieve their economic survival to indeed be car-economy-health-dependent?
        If so (sorry for all the if-so’s) . . . it would be an interesting political experiment to see how these regions feel about Obama and whether
        their is any lingering gratitude-support there or not. It will be interesting to see how the Obama numbers go there as against in neighboring areas which are similar except for being outside the carmakers footprint zone.

        (Of course, if the DemParty did a candidate transplant, the question would not have to come up. It would take an awful lot of pressure to get that to happen. And it wouldn’t work without Black Caucus support.
        So . . . would any members of the Congressional Black Caucus decide that the Simpson-Obama Catfood Conspiracy against Social Security is just as bad for black people as for nonblack people? And that old-age survival trumps racial pride? If not, then Obama will probably not be swapped out for a better candidate.)

  6. wmcb says:

  7. Underwhelmed says:

    Interesting language in that piece. ‘Non-college educated woman’, ‘women and even some men’. They must realise what they’re signalling. Oh look, stupid woman who did not go to school is too stupid to see how wrong she is! Dumb women. Dumb men who don’t get their hands dirty.

    Or am I misreading that?

    • r u reddy says:

      One wonders what the reason is. Is it because some of the African American voters in NorCar resent Obama’s tepid opposition to their beloved No Gay Marriage No Civil Unions No Partner Benefits No Nothing Ammendment? If not, would there be some other reason?

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