Presentation on theme: "Voices for Progress Project February, 2009 Administered by American Family Voices Message Handbook for Progressives from Center to Left: How to Talk about."— Presentation transcript:
Voices for Progress Project February, 2009 Administered by American Family Voices Message Handbook for Progressives from Center to Left: How to Talk about Iraq
January 3, 2014 The following are progressive messages on Iraq that test strongly in representative national samples. Each message provides a brief narrative that summarizes an often complex position in five or six sentences, usually including a tagline that captures its essence, indicated in bold. Messages were developed through 3 rounds of qualitative and quantitative research which tested them against strong conservative messages. All data presented are derived from survey research of likely voters, developed over the following phases: Focus Groups: 8 groups among swing voters and weak partisans testing various message concepts and language. Internet panel survey of national likely voters (July 8, 2008): In 2 online surveys respondents heard conservative and progressive messages delivered by a Republican and Democratic candidate, respectively, in an audio format. Along with other measures, respondents rated messages in moment-to-moment dial testing, which helped identify which elements resonated the most. (N = 405 respondents per message tested.) Telephone survey of national likely voters (October 5, 2008): Respondents heard conservative and progressive messages on a variety of issues delivered by a Republican and Democratic candidate, respectively. They were then asked to rate each message and vote for the candidate whom they preferred based on the message. (N = 412 respondents per message tested.) Project Summary and Methodology
January 3, 2014 The time has come for a responsible withdrawal from Iraq, guided by the advice of our military commanders, not by political considerations. If we'd listened to our generals, we wouldn't have fought this war, and we would never have fought it with too few troops to secure the peace. Iraq is broken, and we have an obligation to try to fix it, but we've been trying for five years, and Iraq's own leaders are now telling us that it's time we begin to bring our troops home. We need to turn our attention back to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the people who attacked us on September 11th have regrouped. And we need to end the burden we've placed on both our career soldiers and our National Guard and their families, who signed up for service in times of emergency, not for multiple tours of duty in someone else's civil war. Survey Results of a Strong Progressive Message
January 3, 2014 Survey Results of a Strong Progressive Message No one is winning the war in Iraqnot the Sunnis, not the Shiites, and not us. We've been losing American lives and limbs for too long, and we should be rebuilding our own bridges, roads, and schools right here in America, rather than pouring money we don't have into a black hole in the desert. We can always put more boots on the ground and temporarily decrease the violence, because we have the most competent fighting force in the world. But that's not a long-term solution. The Iraqi Prime Minister is now calling for the same solution Americans have been demanding from their government for the last three years: an end to an endless occupation that has done nothing but weaken our military, distract us from the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th who are regrouping in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and increase anti- American sentiment in the Middle East. It's time to let the Iraqis rebuild their country, and for us to start reinvesting in ours.
January 3, 2014 Politicians have been telling us for five years that anyone who doesn't support staying in Iraq doesn't "support our troops." You want to support our troops? Don't send them to war unless it's the last resort. Armor their bodies and their vehicles so they don't unnecessarily lose their lives and limbs. Give them as much time home in the loving arms of their families as in the crosshairs of their enemies. And if you really want to support our troops, bring them home. It's time for a responsible withdrawal, one that brings our troops home safely and turns the job of securing Iraq over to the Iraqis. That's what the Iraqi people want, and that's what the American people want. A responsible withdrawal isn't a sudden, precipitous withdrawal. But staying in Iraq indefinitely isn't in our interest, and it isn't in the interest of the Iraqis, who need to learn to govern themselves. Survey Results of a Strong Progressive Message
January 3, 2014 Internet Panel Dial Tests of Strong Progressive Messages The following are message dial tests among likely voters. Click each message below to play its dial graph. The graph plots the mean rating score for the message on a 0-100 scale. The colored lines represent the scores among Republicans, Independents, Democrats and all respondents. The time has come for a responsible withdrawal from Iraq… (CLICK TO VIEW) Some politicians say that anyone who opposes another decade in Iraq doesnt support our troops. Thats playing politics with the lives of our soldiers… (CLICK TO VIEW) We cant protect our national security if we are bogged down in Iraq… (CLICK TO VIEW)
January 3, 2014 Internet Panel Dial Tests of Strong Progressive Messages The following are message dial tests among likely voters. Click each message below to play its dial graph. The graph plots the mean rating score for the message on a 0-100 scale. The colored lines represent the scores among Republicans, Independents, Democrats and all respondents. We cant just get up and leave Iraq, but we cant keep tens of thousands of troops there for decades either… (CLICK TO VIEW) The best way to support our troops is to send them to war only when we have no other option, to bring them home when theyve done all they can do, and to take care of their families the way they take care of ours… (CLICK TO VIEW) When politicians declare that we need to stay in Iraq until we win, theyre either playing politics or they dont know anything about war… (CLICK TO VIEW)
January 3, 2014 Focus on solutions, while also acknowledging that there are no perfect ones. Empathize with concerns and acknowledge that tough choices lie ahead. Be clear on what ending the war will look like. The key phrase isresponsible withdrawal or responsible, orderly withdrawal. Avoiding perceptions of a precipitous withdrawal is crucial to building support. Put the end goal center stage: taking care of our own country and letting the Iraqis take care of theirs. Contrast the effectiveness of our troops with the failure of vision that put them in the middle of someone elses civil war with no exit strategy. Brand conservatives who make accusations about surrendering or waving the white flag as playing politics and not understanding war. How to Talk about Iraq: Key Points
January 3, 2014 Emphasize the need to bring the parties to the table that have the most stake in the outcomeregional players and the Iraqis. Emphasize how the war is diverting resources from threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Redefine what it means to support our troops; progressives have a historic opportunity to retake the high ground on veterans. Emphasize what the war is doing to military families and speak in visceral ways about protecting them. How to Talk about Iraq: Key Points Democrats are comfortable with partisan rhetoric regarding the failures of the Bush Administration, but Independents are not. Voters in the middle are much more interested in hearing about solutions and the future. Language to Avoid
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