While it’s mostly wishful thinking on the part of Republicans to suggest Obama is losing his base there is some truth there. Support for the president by progressives is still fairly high but certainly not as high as it was in November 2008. There will be a lot of talk of Obama trying to win back independents but he’ll still need to start with his own base first.

The progressive research group Democracy Corps has a report out this month called Seizing the New Progressive Common Ground that focuses on middle class Americans that voted for Obama and examines their opinions this year as we head into another election cycle.

I would recommend all progressives read the short 22 page report and carefully take a look at some of the quotations and statements collected in it. The opinions are fascinating and revealing. This is not a document produced to spin a message to independents or conservatives. It’s designed to give liberals insight into key, progressive voting groups that Obama will need to keep on his side in the next election.

The focus group tested key words are especially fascinating. Particularly interesting is the phrase “smashed middle class.” This apparently resonates greatly with middle class Obama voters who feel left out of a political dialog about the very poor and very rich Americans. They are concerned about a shift toward conservative policies that threaten the future of the areas middle class Americans care greatly about: education, housing and Social Security.

What is also interesting is that many of the people interviewed are not doubtful about Obama’s dedication to policies that would strengthen the middle class but are simply doubtful of his ability to achieve such things. They look favorably on his move to take the message to the voters and paint Republicans as being responsible for grid-locking any attempt at change that the 2008 Obama supporters voted for. They see Obama as looking weak and his recent aggressiveness as a turn toward strength instead.

The report showed the following message deeply tapped into the voters sentiments:

America’s strength has always been built on a rising middle class. You worked hard and you could have confidence that America took care of everyone. We saw rising incomes, strong families, more people owning a home – and more and more Americans working so their kids would do better and get a good education. Hard work and responsibility paid off. But the middle class has been smashed. People haven’t seen a real raise in a long time and the economic crisis has left people on the edge. Getting the middle class back has got to be our nation’s focus. So, let’s keep our money on education, get health care costs down and make sure Medicare and Social Security is there for them. The congressional Republicans say we have to end Medicare and transfer costs to retirees, because we can’t raise taxes on the wealthiest and oil companies. That’s not the right course. We must never lose sight of the goal that all Americans can still believe in the American dream and achieve success.

I’ve written before already about how important it is to frame our message when we’re speaking to people we have the ear of in our circle of family or friends. Most of us aren’t going to go door to door to bring out the vote for Obama (though we certainly should), but we do each have people who listen to us at work or at church or other places in the community.

Obama can’t keep the White House if his disenchanted 2008 supporters decide it would be better to go in the wrong direction simply because the current direction isn’t getting the job done. Read the document. Learn from it. Let your progressive friends and family know why they should vote for Obama again. We’ll worry about independents and swing voters another day.

Source: http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/007766.html

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