It 's a shame that the vast majority of pollsters work based on getting gigs from corporations and the two dinosaur parties on the right--- republicans and centrist democrats.. If there were a honest to goodness progressive polling organization, or possibly even if there were funds to pay the main polling organizations, things could be very different.
Here in Pennsylvania, they keep polling for the coming Senate race for the seat now held by Rick Santorum. But they only poll to see how Santorum would do against the darling of the DLC insiders --Bob Casey, jr. They ignore grassroots candidate Chuck Pennacchio, even though in every blogosphere poll, Pennacchio has been able to win by recruiting more grassroots support. We know that Casey is polling 16 points higher than Santorum. Be we don 't know how well Pennacchio would do against Santorum, or how he is looking against Casey. This is the biggest, most watched race that will be happening in the nation next year. Yet all the polling organizations are ignoring what could be a totally viable candidate who is the only one who supports women 's rights to abortion and embryonic stem cell research. The pollsters are hurting the democratic process here and helping keep the whole race loaded to the right.
Let 's look at the Alito nomination. If pollsters went to work in blue states with Republican senators, and in red states with democratic, moderate senators and showed that voters opposed Alito, based, for example, on his opposition to Roe v. Wade, that could make a huge difference. Why don 't the democrats and others on the left pony up the money for such polls? How much could it cost to run such polls in every state, a million, two million, five million dollars? This should be a no brainer. One adverse ruling could be devastating to attorneys, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, homeowners. Of course, the same is true, the other way, for big corporations. They could save billions on a few key Supreme court decisions. NOW is the time to be investing big time in polling to show legislators what their constituents want.
If the left had progressive pollsters, it would b so much easier to identify the best candidates to run against incumbent Republicans and sell-out centrist Democrats.
This is doable stuff. It won 't hurt the big pollsters. They 'll still get paid big bucks from mainstream media and the big political parties. IT may even dramatically increase the size of the polling business. That would be good for democracy, good for America, and good for progressives.
Of course, building progressive pollster resources is one dimension of building a progressive political infrastructure.. Progressives need tools for communications, policy advocacy, echo chamber amplification, gumshoe detective research resources to dig up dirt and do opposition research, media facilities for spokespeople who appear on mainstream media shows, state, regional and national mailing lists, phone and email lists, position marketing for specific demographics. Progressives desperately need policy advocacy and promotion think tanks. I 've been writing about this for several years now. We have a long, long way to go. But some of the pieces are falling into place.