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January 19, 2006


I'm curious if they had a separate category for Medicare prescription coverage, or just plain old healthcare?

Speficially healthcare. Medicare and/or prescription drugs was not on the survey.


The most dramatic partisan differences involve healthcare and Social Security. A majority of Democrats (54%) say healthcare will be extremely important to their votes this November, compared with only about a third (34%) of Republicans. Forty-seven percent of Democrats, and only 29% of Republicans, say Social Security will be extremely important.

Medicare and/or prescription drugs was not on the survey.

I have a feeling that it *will* be on one of the next ones.

I have a feeling that it *will* be what people vote on.

Garance Franke-Ruta has an article on values, issues and voters in the Prospect that gives a slightly different take on the question whether voters favor the Dems' position on issues. It is long but worth the read.

One point is that economic issues aren't as important to most voters as we think, and that voters are voting (if they vote) from a constellation of values that are different from what people usually think. The ideas are provocative.

But it is also possible that voters' values could bring them to the same position. Take gas prices, which have ticked up about 50 cents around here in the last couple of weeks. Voters may be angered about rising gas prices not as a strictly "economic" issue, but because it infringes on their freedom to live a certain way. Health care works that way too. It is not a big issue until someone gets really sick, or for some reason the needed health care isn't there. At that point "every man for himself" doesn't work so well unless you are a doctor.

In any event, I think the changes Garance identifies are in part generational, and the people least affected are the elderly. They are also the most reliably Democratic and the most affected by Medicare Part D (for Disaster). The Dems need to point out that it was the Bush/GOP Drug Plan (not the one the Dems wanted) and that it is not evidence that gov't doesn't work. Medicare is evidence that gov't does work, if it is put in the hands of those who know how to make it work for ordinary people.

Any bets on whether George Tenet's $5M-advance book about his tenure at the CIA will come out before the elections, or whether it would matter?

George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, is writing "At the Center of the Storm," a book for HarperCollins about his seven years with the C.I.A. Mr. Tenet served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush before resigning in 2004 amid criticism of the agency's prewar reporting on Iraqi weapons. Last March, Mr. Tenet, who was promised a $5 million advance by Crown publishers, said he was delaying his memoirs because "an undertaking of such historical consequence needed more time." The book is to be published late this year.

I think the House Democrats have found a spokesperson on corruption who is very effective, Louise Slaughter from Upstate NY -- but who was born, brought up in, and educated in Kentucky. She did Call in on C-Span yesterday, and she is a great face on this issue. I think the Dem's will be smart if they combine the corruption issue with other things, things like Terrorism. Money lost through corrupt practices is obviously not money that can meaningfully be used for Security -- for Health Care -- for rebuilding New Orleans. In other words Dem's have to get the corruption message to be about members not respecting their tax dollars, and allowing Cunningham and DeLay and Abramoff play their private games with it. Stealing from you is an effective message -- more abstract concepts such as ethics don't hit voter's reasoning. There is much to work with here -- and by next October we need to have it organized in a coherent message so as to create a near perfect storm.


Have you got a link for this which isn't subscription?

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