ABC News: Democrats Urged to Abandon Election Myths

WASHINGTON Oct 6, 2005 — To regain political power Democrats must abandon favorite election myths, adopt a strong position on national defense and pick candidates who connect with average voters, two political analysts from the party said Thursday.

Political scientists Elaine Kamarck and William Galston, both Democrats, warned that the most important first step is to abandon beliefs they describe as "election myths."

The report, done for the moderate Democratic strategy group Third Way, compared the current situation to 1989, when they wrote a report that mapped a centrist strategy for Democrats.
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The said the current "myths" are:

The belief Democrats can win if they just do a great job of mobilizing their base. Republicans have improved at mobilizing their own base, so Democrats need to do more than that.

The theory demographic changes over time will make Democrats a majority, a questionable concept with the Hispanic vote increasingly up for grabs.

The belief Democrats can succeed politically if they simply learn to talk more effectively about their positions.

The strategy of avoiding cultural issues, playing down national security and changing the subject to domestic issues. National security is too dominant a concern now.

The report noted Republican gains among married people, Catholics, Hispanics and women during the last presidential election.

Democrats must choose to appeal to a broader majority that includes many moderates, said Galston, a political scientist at the University of Maryland.

The Democrats also must develop a coherent foreign policy because "we just don't have one," said Kamarck, a political scientist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Pennsylvania Treasurer Bob Casey Jr.'s lead over Sen. Rick Santorum has grown even larger in their U.S. Senate race, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University poll of 1,530 Pennsylvania voters showed Casey leading the two-term Republican incumbent by 18 points, 52 percent to 34 percent, in the 2006 race. That compares to a 50-to-39 percent lead in a July poll by Quinnipiac.

ABC News: Democrats Urged to Abandon Election Myths


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