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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

J.P. Green

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It’s been said before, but Truthdig‘s Bill Boyarsky sums the argument up nicely in his Alternet post “Iowa Caucuses: Not the Battle of the Century.” Noting the guestimate of a worker in Dubuque’s Georgia Pacific plant that about 10 percent of the 125 union members at the plant are expected to attend the caucuses, Boyarsky adds:

That is in line with a Des Moines Register poll estimate of 12 percent Republican and 10 percent Democrat attendance at caucuses around the state. That figure is substantially above the numbers for past caucuses reported by Pollster.com: Just 5.5 percent for Democrats in 2004 and 3.9 percent for Republicans in 2000. That is a tiny percentage of the 57,204 people living in Dubuque and the 2,944,062 residing in Iowa. Such a low level of involvement makes me wonder about news accounts that portray this as the battle of the century.

Boyarsky calls the Iowa caucuses “a travesty of the American political system” and describes the whole exercise as “undemocratic, unfair, unrepresentative and overly complicated.” While Boyarsky is stone cold right about the caucuses being unrepresentative of the Iowa electorate as a whole, perhaps the real travesty is the “news accounts” he cites — the MSM media, and even some blogosphere writers hype the Iowa caucuses as the ‘make or break’ event for any number of presidential campaigns. Worse, some of the candidates themselves have affirmed this view.
The good people of Iowa can’t be blamed for enjoying all of the media attention and commerce the caucuses bring — any other state would do the same, given the opportunity. In terms of political strategy, it is true that no candidate who has finished worse than third in Iowa has won the Party’s nomination, as noted in my 12/23 post below. However, the Democratic field is unusually strong this year, and that alone should be a good enough argument for hanging in there for a few more days until New Hampshire, a state whose citizens enjoy confounding pollsters, has its say.


Southern Bellwether, 2nd Tier Troopers, Blue Ideopolis

The Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s Aaron Gould Shenin reports on a bellwether county in Georgia that has picked 28 winners out of 29 contests in primaries since 1996 (The tally includes state-wide, as well as presidential candidates). Muscogee County, which includes the city of Columbus, is diverse, but with a larger proportion of African Americans (about half) than the state as a whole (about 30 percent). The only miss was Muscogee’s pick for state Labor Commish back in ’88. Says Shenin, “If the Democratic candidates for president want to win the Feb. 5 Georgia primary, they best win Muscogee County.”
Scott Martelle has an L.A. Times update on the tenacity of “second tier” presidential candidates Richardson, Biden and Dodd. What keeps them going, you wonder? Martelle quotes Senator Dodd’s answer:

Iowa’s always about expectations. . . On the night of Jan. 3, the results come in, and if all of a sudden I’m in third or fourth place here, you’re going to have two candidates ahead of me whose campaigns may be over with because they failed expectations. . . . So all of a sudden this changes.

Adds Drake University political analyst Dennis Goldford, “The old rule of thumb is that there are three tickets out of Iowa. Nobody who has ever finished worse than third has gotten the nomination.” According to Martelle, Senator Biden will stay if he finishes “a close fourth.”
The article underscores what an outstanding field we have, especially in comparison to the opposition. Might be a good thing for the Democratic Party if one of these guys makes the cut and becomes a serious player on 2/5.
New Republic Senior Editor John Judis and TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira have a WaPo op-ed “Get Ready for a Democratic Era” featuring an informative look at key constituencies now leaning Democratic, including single women, professionals, Independents and white working-class males. They also discuss the growth of the ‘ideopolis’ as an influential Democratic stronghold, nation-wide, and have an optimistic vision for Dems, both short and long-term:

In 2006, the new Democratic coalition — women, professionals and minorities, augmented by disillusioned Reagan Democrats — retook Congress. In 2008, it’s poised to do even better….Republicans, who grew fat and happy during Bush’s first term, anticipating decades of rule, face some lean years ahead.

Teixeira and Judis do wave one flag, noting that the tilt to Dems among key groups “doesn’t necessarily translate into voter registration.” Notwithstanding inadequate voter turnout efforts, they believe Dems can expect “a striking political advantage over the next decade, and perhaps longer.”


Pundits Too Bearish on Dems’ House Prospects?

Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball takes a look at the Dems’ House prospects, both specific and general, and provides snapshots of key races. Sabato presents some interesting “leaning” and “likely” House race charts and ventures what we hope is a conservative prediction:

every initial indication suggests that 2008 will be a consolidation election for the Democrats. They may add a few seats, or lose a few, but their majority is unlikely to be threatened…it appears more likely that Democrats will gain seats in the House, thus padding their new majority. How many seats are added, or indeed whether this tentative prediction holds up at all, will depend partly on the identity of the presidential candidates and the coattails they generate..

The Cook Political Report‘s House of Reps guru David Wasserman sees Democrats picking up between two and seven House seats in ’08. MyDD‘s Jonathan Singer guestimates a 10-15 seat pick up. He reasons:

the National Republican Congressional Committee remains mired in debt less than a year out from election day while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is as flush with cash as it has ever been with a net $29 million in the bank. This magnitude of this feat cannot be overstated…Not only are the Democrats enjoying a real advantage in the money race, the Democrats have also seen a lot more success in recruitment than the Republicans.

Dividing the difference between Singer and Wasserman gives Dems a 8-9 seat pick-up, which is still way short of a working majority without a Dem President. Even more disturbing, if this pick-up percentage applies to the Senate, the Dems’ one-seat Senate majority seems even more fragile, especially with Lieberman cosying up to Republicans. Maybe it’s too much to expect another wave election, but a presidential landslide with coattails ought to be doable in a war-weary nation.


Fat Cats’ ‘Freedom Watch’ Has Deep Pockets to Back GOP

New York Times reporter Carl Hulse reports on the role of the conservative organization ‘Freedom Watch’ in holding the Ohio 5th district House seat for the GOP and defeating Democratic candidate Robin Weirauch.

The Freedom’s Watch ad, which had ample air time through an estimated $100,000 buy, was a tough one on immigration — the new go-to issue for Republicans. The ad suggested that Ms. Weirauch supported public health care benefits for illegal immigrants. Ms. Weirauch said she obviously does not support such a thing but instead backed a national health care plan that she said would extend to legal residents of the United States. Nevertheless, she had a tough time explaining her way out of it.

This was the first time Freedom Watch bankrolled ads in a GOP House race, but it is not going to be the last. Hulse speculates that Freedom Watch has “tens of millions” of dollars to pour into political races, to help make up the RNC’s fund-raising shortfall.
While it is unclear from recent reportage exactly who runs Freedom Watch, an earlier Washington Post article by Peter Baker named Mel Sembler, “the big-time Bush family fundraiser and co-founder of Freedom’s Watch,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, former White House aide Brad Blakeman, Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matthew Brooks and casino executive William Weidner. Baker quotes watchdog Larry Klayman, who is suing Freedom Watch, saying “its ties to the White House make it likely it was concocted by them as a scheme to circumvent the ban on soft money political advertising.”
Baker also reports that Freedom Watch was launched to spend $15 million in an advertising campaign supporting Bush’s escalation of the war in Iraq. All of which diminishes the cred of Republicans who whine incessantly about the contributions of pro-Democratic “special interests” and wealthy donors.
Meanwhile, Democratic breast-beating about our fund-raising advantage thus far probably needs some reassessment. Apparently, we’re going to have to dig a good bit deeper to win both the white house and a working congressional majority.


‘Corporate Greed’ as a Sleeper Issue

Fortune Magazine‘s Washington Bureau Chief Nina Easton’s post “Democrats’ War on Corporate Greed: Mostly Bluster” discusses the comparatively mild messaging of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the topic of corporate abuse in comparison to John Edwards.
Easton was struck with the anti-corporate tone of the Democratic field in Thursday’s debate — in stark contrast to the lack of discussion about the Iraq War and terrorism. But despite the debate’s “symphony of simplistic war-cries against business,” Easton sees the policies of Obama and Clinton as “more nuanced” and cites their “deep ties with supporters and contributors in corporate America.”
She is quite right that Edwards is the high-profile class warrior of the ’08 campaign, having anchored his campaign in anti-corporate rhetoric. His statement in Thursday’s debate in Iowa is emblematic of the core message his campaign has been hammering everywhere he goes:

We’re having trouble growing and strengthening the middle class because corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government, and we need a president who’s willing to take these powers on.

Easton believes that Edwards may have found a resonating message:

Edwards, in particular, has hit on an effective formula with populist-minded Iowans: While the two frontrunners, Obama and Clinton, stab-wound each other, Edwards catches attention by dropping a bomb on corporate America. On Thursday, a focus group of Iowa voters holding dial-meters and organized by Fox News (where I am a contributor) showed a mediocre response when Clinton talked about controlling healthcare costs, but off-the-chart support when Edwards let loose against corporate interests.

The last time a politician ran such a strongly-populist campaign was in 1976, when Senator Fred Harris lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Governor Jimmy Carter. But corporate America’s image has taken some hard hits since then.
The Ethics Resource Center’s 2007 National Business Ethics Survey of employed adults, sponsored by top Fortune 500 companies and conducted 6/25 to 8/15, found that only nine percent of companies “have strong ethical cultures” and ethical misconduct is back at “pre-Enron” levels. More than half of employees say they have witnessed ethical misconduct on the job.
The latest Conference Board survey of 5,000 households reported last February found that less than half of all Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent who were satisfied twenty years ago. Wages are stagnant. Health insurance premiums are out of control.
There is no guarantee that increasing job dissatisfaction will be translated into political discontent, like presidential approval ratings are clearly linked to rising gas prices. Yet, a lot of Americans feel like they are being ripped-off by big corporations and their errand-boy politicians. Edwards’ gamble is that this simmering anger can be converted into votes for the candidate who calls it out, loud and clear. There are no more Democratic debates before Iowa. But if his ads do justice to his message the week after Christmas, he just may win his bet.


Attack Ads Need Right Timing, Tone

A new study by ad and marketing research firm PQ Media provides a revealing breakdown of the way ’08 political ad campaign spending is shaping up. According to Steve McClellan’s Adweek article, “Political Ad Spend to Soar“:

Political ad spending across all media is projected to reach $3.03 billion, and account for 67.2 percent of all political media spending in the 2008 election cycle…broadcast TV would command the largest share of political media expenditures in 2008 with 51.3 percent of the total…direct mail…is projected to generate more than $1 billion in spending for the first time in 2008…Internet ad spending is expected to exhibit the fastest growth during the 2008 campaign, up an estimated 84 percent compared with 2006…Other media projected to exhibit high double-digit gains are public relations, promotions and event marketing (56 percent), direct mail (53 percent) and broadcast TV (46.2 percent).

As for the kinds of campaigns that will do the most ad spending:

The presidential race is expected to command the largest share of spending in 2008 at 37 percent, or $1.67 billion, while the Senate and House races will account for 19.4 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively. Due to significantly fewer gubernatorial races (11 versus 36 in 2006), spending by gubernatorial candidates is expected to account for less than 4 percent of overall expenditures, while local races and spending on referendums will account for the remaining 18 percent.

Martin Kaste’s article “Democrats Take Civil Approach in TV Ads (For Now),” at NPR’s website notes the relatively tame tone of current political ads of leading Democratic presidential candidates broadcasted in early primary states. Kaste seems to attribute the temporary civility to the approaching Christmas season. Seems a little early to make nice, but it makes sense to tone down for a couple of weeks. Candidates probably shouldn’t risk looking too negative close to the holiday.
Don’t be surprised, however, if the civility truce starts curdling in ads beginning December 26. Why? Because candidates across the political spectrum know that attack ads are effective. Republican strategist Roger Stone explains it this way:

The problem with negative advertising is: It works. The very same voters who tell you in the polls that they don’t like it, that they hate it, will turn around and tell you the exact content of the ads. And we know, from intensive polling going on now, that these ads do move voters from over here to over here.

Negative ads can backfire, particularly if they degenerate into a vicious ad hominem attack. One frequently-cited example is the 1993 Canadian election in which the Conservative Party appeared to mock Liberal Party leader Jean Chrétien’s Bell’s Palsy partial facial paralysis, and the conservatives were damaged in the polls.
And accuracy of attack ads is critical, as Stone cautions:

…If so-called negative or comparison advertising is going to be effective, it should be footnoted, it should indisputable on the facts…And I think it is ineffective. Voters are not stupid. They can see through a late, unsupported charge.

There’s an ongoing debate about whether or not political attack ads have a depressing effect on voter turnout. One major academic study reported in the American Journal of Political Science indicated that attack ads do not depress turnout, and a more recent Journal of Politics article provides evidence that attack ads may often increase voter turnout.
There is an important distinction that needs to be made here — personal attacks vs. attacks on policies, although the lines between them are often blurry. What candidates should avoid is looking mean-spirited. But sharp, well-articulated critiques of policies, backed by credible alternatives, is what really makes a candidate look good. Ads that meet this standard win the support of swing voters who care about issues.


Voters Prioritize Issues — In Their Own Words

The horse race polls are now becoming more relevant as tools for prediction as we close in on the primaries. But they are less useful to candidates, campaigns and reporters as a tool for knowing what exactly is bugging voters. For that we turn to issue polls, and the latest Gallup Poll, conducted 11/30-12/2, is particularly instructive in that regard.
Asked to identify the issues “most important in determining their vote for president in next year’s election,” the Gallup survey respondents gave answers, in their own words — not Gallup’s suggested terminology. As Joseph Carroll reports in his Gallup summary:

Thirty-six percent of Americans say Iraq, with the economy (16%), healthcare (15%), and illegal immigration (10%) mentioned next most often. Between 3% and 6% of Americans mention homeland security or military defense, taxes, the honesty and integrity of the candidate, abortion, domestic issues, Social Security reform, and international affairs….Iraq has diminished somewhat as the top issue over the course of the year, while there has been a slight increase in the reported importance of immigration.

The poll is based on a nationwide sample (m.o.e.= 3), so it is not the last word on issues for candidates with respect to individual state primaries. The early states holding primaries are not the best bellwethers in the way their demographics reflect national priorities (for the best bellwether states, see interactive graphic chart here). But I would not be shocked if voters in IA, NH, SC, NV, MI and FL ranked their issues of concern in a fairly close approximation. The poll may be even more relevant with respect to Super Tuesday (Feb. 5), when half of the delegates to the two party conventions are chosen.
Carroll’s report includes an interesting chart ranking concerns by region. Readers may be surprised that southerners are more likely to rank the war in Iraq as a the top issue than are respondents from the east and west, that midwesterners are much more concerned about health care, or that westerners are the least concerned about the economy.
As for Party differences, Carroll writes:

Iraq ranks as the top voting issue for Republicans, independents, and Democrats. However, Democrats (46%) are much more likely than independents (34%) or Republicans (29%) to mention Iraq. Democrats are more likely than the other party groups to mention healthcare. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to mention illegal immigration (17% to 3%), homeland security and terrorism (17% to 4%), and abortion (6% to less than 0.5%)….Independents most frequently mention Iraq, the economy, healthcare, and immigration.

What I like about this poll is letting the respondents use their own language to rank their issues of concern. Gallup did what appears to be a good job of grouping terms, For example, “honesty/integrity/credibility of candidate.” Their word choices should be of intense interest for speeches, position papers, websites, ads, interviews and other tools of campaign messaging. On the other hand, the chosen words may mean something quite different to individual voters, just as they do in multiple choice polls. It would be interesting to see Lakoff’s take on the respondents’ chosen terms.


A Strategy for Anti-War Dems

Tom Hayden’s latest article in The Nation, “How the Peace Movement Can Win in ’08,” is an extremely important read – not only for those Democrats who want to accelerate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, but also for any Democratic political strategists who think the only coherent political strategies are those that are designed to win elections.. Hayden, one of the most lucid strategic thinkers in the peace movement, rolls out an action plan for political and protest activists, linked to key upcoming events in the political calendar, both short and long-term. It is, in effect, the plan for a parallel campaign to the 2008 elections, one aimed at mobilizing the already existing peace constituency and influencing public opinion.
Hayden sees the peace movement having “the best-funded antiwar message in history” and “an opportunity to solidify public opinion behind a more rapid withdrawal–regardless of what the national security advisers think.” He urges Dems favoring a faster withdrawal to make stronger and more effective use of the 527 committees and fully deploy financial resources in broadening the anti-war movement.
In fact, Hayden sees electoral activism as even more important than traditional protest methods. On the one hand he says:

The peace movement can succeed only by applying people pressure against the pillars of the war policy–public opinion, military recruitment and an ample war budget–through marching, confronting military recruiters and civil disobedience.

But, at the same time,

The tactics that are most likely to accelerate the process are greater efforts at persuading the ambivalent voters. [we need]..skilled organizers and volunteers across the electoral battlegrounds of 2008…to identify, register and turn out voters through door-to-door work combined with radio and television spots. A massively funded voter-identification and -registration drive and a get-out-the vote campaign have enormous potential to tip not only the presidential election but also the scales of public opinion. Rather than merely pounding away at a simplistic message–Republicans dangerous, Democrats better–such an effort would require, as a foundation, resources to educate voters and involve them in house meetings. The house-meeting approach allows for voter education and participation on a scale that cannot be achieved by hit pieces or TV spots. It is also critical for cultivating grassroots leadership capacity for election day turnout and beyond.

Hayden touches on the pros and cons of Iraq withdrawal plans of the Dem presidential nominees and gives Edwards the edge among front-runners, while crediting Obama with strengthening his withdrawal proposal.. Hayden says Clinton’s “centrist” proposals are too vague, but he believes “bird-dogging” all Dem candidates on the trail can help move the Democrats toward faster withdrawal from Iraq.
Progressive Democrats like myself who are convinced that we should withdraw from Iraq as promptly as feasible but who also believe the most important priority for the future of America is a democratic victory in 2008 and the creation of an enduring Democratic majority will find Hayden’s article provocative reading. In fact, it forces both peace activists and Democratic campaigners alike to think more deeply about the potential conflicts and trade-offs between anti-war activism and pro-Democratic advocacy and to explicitly consider how the two forces can work as much as possible in parallel rather then across purposes. There are no easy answers to this strategic challenge, but Hayden’s article is an excellent place to start.


‘Gentry Liberals’ Influence on Dems Overstated

Joel Kotkin and Fred Siegel have a L.A. Times op-ed “The Gentry Liberals,” arguing in essence that the Democratic Party is being taken over by wealthy liberal elitists who care little about the concerns of the working class. As the article’s subtitle states “They’re more concerned with global warming and gay rights than with lunch-pail joes.” Kotkin and Siegel explain it this way:

But what kind of liberalism is emerging as the dominant voice in the Democratic Party?
Well, it isn’t your father’s liberalism, the ideology that defended the interests and values of the middle and working classes. The old liberalism had its flaws, but it also inspired increased social and economic mobility, strong protections for unions, the funding of a national highway system and a network of public parks, and the development of viable public schools. It also invented Social Security and favored a strong foreign policy.
Today’s ascendant liberalism has a much different agenda. Call it “gentry liberalism.” It’s not driven by the lunch-pail concerns of those workers struggling to make it in an increasingly high-tech, information-based, outsourcing U.S. economy — though it does pay lip service to them.
Rather, gentry liberalism reflects the interests and values of the affluent winners in the era of globalization and the beneficiaries of the “financialization” of the economy. Its strongholds are the tony neighborhoods and luxurious suburbs in and around New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco and West Los Angeles.

The authors roll out some income by party-i.d.statistics that support their argument and note that “Democrats now control the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional districts.” They also point out that Dems now get more than the GOP in financial contributions from the securities industry, including hedge fund managers. Their argument is somewhat undermined by the fact that no current Democratic presidential candidate can fairly be identified as the standard-bearer for “gentry liberalism.” All of the current Democratic field have strong cred with labor unions, and all are protectionist on trade to one degree or another. Even at the congressional level, the Dems who won Senate seats in ’06 are all strong protectionists. Gentry liberals have been around for a long time in the Democratic Party, but the evidence that they are “ascendant” in running the Party is pretty thin.
Siegel and Kotkin venture out on to even thinner ice in describing the role of the internet as a vehicle for “gentry liberalism”:

Gentry liberalism has established a strong presence on the Internet, where such websites as MoveOn.org and the Huffington Post are lavishly funded by well-heeled liberals. These and other sites generally focus on foreign policy, gay rights, abortion and other social issues, as well as the environment. Traditional middle-class concerns such as the unavailability of affordable housing, escalating college tuitions and the shrinking number of manufacturing jobs usually don’t rank as top concerns.

Here the authors overstate their case. The issues they cite, especially foreign policy, do have a significant impact on the quality of middle class life. I mean, hello, Iraq is kind of important to the middle class. And while both of those websites may not emphasize ‘lunchpail’ concerns as a central theme, they do run some articles on bread and butter issues of interest to working people. In addition, suggesting that HuffPo and MoveOn adequately represent the focus of liberal/progressive websites in general indicates that the authors’ net-surfing habits are a little on the narrow side.
Kotkin and Siegel do better when they turn their focus on the conflict between environmentalists and the economic interests of working people:

But gentry liberalism’s increasingly “green tint” distances it the furthest from the values and interests of the middle and working classes…The gentry liberal crusade to tighten U.S. environmental regulations to slow global warming could end up hurting middle- and working-class interests. U.S. industry needs time and incentives to develop new technologies to replace carbon-based energy. If it doesn’t get them, and an overly aggressive anti-carbon regime is instituted, the shift of manufacturing, energy and shipping jobs to developing countries with weak environmental laws and regulations could accelerate.
Ignoring these potential Third World environmental costs would result only in shifting the geography of greenhouse gas emissions without slowing global warming — and at a terrible cost to jobs in the U.S.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, so will the clamor for action. Democrats will be expected to provide the needed leadership to address global warming and our dependence on mid-east oil with policies that don’t decimate jobs in the process.
Environmental advocates and unions have engaged in conflicts over the employment effects of environmental reforms for decades. Timber workers, auto unions, oil industry employees and other workers have clashed with Greens over environmental reforms, and Democratic unity has too often suffered as a consequence. Environmentalists often argue that reforms they champion produce net job creation. But they miss a key distinction — workers affected by reforms need to know that jobs at an equivalent wage will be secure for them when the reforms are implemented. The smarter Democratic leaders are well-aware of this challenge. Making it policy should be a top priority for Democratic candidates at every level.


Spotlight: Dems on Energy Independence

Edmund L. Andrews’ somewhat misleadingly-titled New York Times article “Candidates Offer Different Views on Energy Policy” is more a broad overview of the differences between Democratic and Republican presidential candidates as two groups on how — and when — to achieve energy independence for the U.S. This is not so helpful for making distinctions between the individual candidates, and disses all of the “second tier” candidates, except for a quick mention of Richardson’s CAFE goal (50 mpg by 2020 –highest and quickest).
The main point of the Times article seems to be that Dems as a whole have stronger policies for energy independence, which we knew already. The article does touch lightly on a few energy policy positions of Clinton, Richardson, Edwards McCain, Huckabee and Romney (the worst of both fields, arguably). But most of Andrews’ piece deals with the differences between the GOP field and the Dems in general terms. The candidates’ positions on energy independence and environmental concerns are too important to be addressed so once-over-lightly in the nation’s top newspaper.
So where do you go to get more detail on the energy/environmental policies of the Dem field? You go to their energy and environment web pages, collected here for your convenience:
Biden – “Energy” and “Climate Change” and “Protecting the Environment”
Clinton – “Promoting Energy Independence and Fighting Global Warming
Dodd – “Chris Dodd’s Energy Plan
Edwards – “Energy/Environment
Kucinich – “A Sustainable Future
Obama – “Environment” and “Energy”
Richardson – “Energy” and “Environment
Please read them all and feel free to share with us your thoughts on their relative strengths and weaknesses. No, we’re not going to do the same for the GOP field — that’s their job, and there isn’t much of substance in the GOP field anyway, except for McCain’s oppostion to oil and gas drilling in the Arctic (gasp) and Huckabee’s support for mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.
We need a louder echo chamber on energy and environmental issues. Why? As a survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Center for American Progress, conducted 3/19-22, found:

More than 3/4 of people believe the effects of global warming are already here.
Americans want immediate action on global warming – 60 percent believe that increasing pollution has set global warming into motion and “we must take action now or it will be too late to stop it.”
Unlike other issues before Congress and the President there is no strong partisan divide on stopping global warming.

The survey also indicated that energy and global warming “now rivals health care as the top domestic issue that requires immediate action.” We have a great opportunity here. The challenge is to bring it front and center.