This ought to be the Democrats’ moment, as the president’s Social Security proposal crashes against the wall of the public’s deep doubts. Support for the president’s proposal has fallen to 36 percent and perhaps even lower, depending on question wording. Worse for the president, 40 percent of voters strongly oppose his plan, rising to 63 percent among seniors. Congressional Democrats are now winning voters over 45 years by 12 points, according to the NPR survey, after faltering badly among aging voters just 4 months earlier. But Bush’s plan is not that popular with younger voters who divide evenly on it.
So, we ask progressives to consider, why have the Republicans not crashed and
burned? Why has the public not taken out their anger on the Congressional Republicans
and the president? We think the answer lies with voters’ deeper feelings about the Democrats who appear to lack direction, conviction, values, advocacy or a larger public purpose.
—Democracy Corps (Carville, Greenburg & Shrum) memo [PDF format]