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Wedge Issues and Winning Issues for Democrats

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Just as Republicans have gay marriage and flag burning as their "wedge issues," there are issues that independents strongly support that Democrats passionately love. These are wedge issues to aggressively advocate in right wing opponents' faces as a tool for winning elections. An OpEdNews Zogby People's poll identifies powerfull issues candidates can use to win campaigns.

OpEdNews commissioned the Zogby company to do a public opinion poll in Pennsylvania in late May 2006. We looked at a range of issues using standard and custom designed demographics. We discovered a collection of issues that look great for Democrats-- that democrats and independents strongly support, and which Republicans either moderately support or support with a majority, that Republican candidates would have a very hard time running on, because of their extremist base.

Now, this poll was done in Pennsylvania, a slightly blue state that has been discribed as Philly and Pittsburgh with Alabama in the middle. For that reason, PA represents, in a microcosm, much of the rest of the US. But don't take this for granted. Consider doing issue polling for your campaign. See how the winner and losers I've picked play with your campaign's constituency area.

I'll also discuss a few issues that may seem attractive but that don't have the support of the polling.

This article will list issues with statistics as follows:

total response for/against Independents for/against,
Dems for/against, Republicans for/against
other relevant crosstab stats
comments on the issue.
question as asked;

Should Bush Initiate Iran War Without Congressional Approval
Numbers are reversed from poll results so you see opposition/support for Bush

Total: 63/32 Independents: 62/32
Democrats: 97/3 Republicans: 27/63
Independents support requiring Bush to get permission before going to war with Iran by two to one. Democrats massively support it, and Republicans hate the idea of first requiring congressional approval before plunging us into another war. This is a winner that can help to strongly pull independents. Tie it to the war. Joke, "I'm sure Mr. Bush and my opponent have satellite images of WMDs in Iran. Well, if they do, let the congress and senate see the information and decide.
Do you agree or disagree that the president has the right to use military force against Iran without the support of congress?

1. Agree 2. Disagree 3. Not sure

Birth Control Pill Health Insurance Coverage
Total: 73/22 Independents: 68/24
Democrats: 91/4 Republicans: 55/40
Moderates: 85/12 age 18-45: 75/20,
born-agains: 52/38 and catholics 57/37 support this
Even a majority of Republicans support health insurance coverage for birth control pills and Independent support is very sollid. Candidates like PA senate candidate Bob Casey, who have taken an anti-abortion position can differentiate themselves from more rabid anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive opponents like Rick Santorum. Santorum could never support birth control because of his core base. This issue helps accentuate the right wing extremism. It looks reasonable, is clearly pro-life and helps to reduce abortions. This could be the most potent issue candidates running against right wingers and republicans should embrace and hit hard. Force your opponents to take a stand on this. It will weaken their right wing base or force them to the far, far right.
19. Do you agree or disagree that health insurance should cover birth control pills?

1. Agree 2. Disagree 3. Not sure

Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Total: 66/26 Independents: 59/26
Democrats: 94/4 Republicans: 38/45
Born agains: 20/56 (born agains made up about 20% of responders)
More born-agains support birth control and abortion thand they do Embryonic Stem Cells. That makes it even harder for right wing candidates to support what is clearly an issue that 66/26 is a winning issue which progressives and democrats can embrace. Find a local patient with ALS, Parkinsons, or some other disease that could be helped by embryonic stem cell research and tell their story.
21. Do you agree or disagree that embryonic stem cell research should be conducted?

1. Agree 2. Disagree 3. Not sure

Election Reform-Take Money factor Out of Campaigns
Unlimited money/fixed money
Total: 22/72 Independents: 15/77
Democrats: 4/93 Republicans: 44/46
Election reform may not seem sexy, but it resonates with Democrats and independents, and even a plurality of Republicans support it. The idea is to take the money out of campaigns. Once a candidate does what it takes to get on the ballot, he becomes eligible for funds provided by the government. Another poll we ran in January showed there is strong support for REQUIRING mainstream media to provide free ad time for candidates within this kind of system. That would cut the costs of the campaigns enormously, making them affordable for government to finance.
23. Which of the following positions on election financing comes closer to your own position ├» ┐ Ż A or B?

Position A: Candidates should be allowed to raise as much money as they want from individuals, industry, and corporations.

Position B: All eligible candidates should get a fixed amount of money to spend on their campaigns to prevent influence buying.

1. A 2. B 3. Not sure

Pre-emptive Nukes? Approve/disapprove
Total: 22/69 Independents: 76/13
Democrats: 88/9 Republicans: 44/41
This is a great wedgie for Republicans. While a majority of Republicans oppose the use of pre-emptive nuclear attack, enough right wingnut extremists support it, and the Bush Administration wants to keep this option open. That makes it just about impossible for a Republican, right wing candidate to back this one. Bring it up. "Would you support the non-defensive use of a nuclear weapon? And then come back with, when you opponent replies affirmatively, come back with "So you're willing to start a nuclear war?"

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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