Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On common viewpoints

I haven't yet blogged about Angus Reid's poll on how respondents see the economic issue ads released earlier this year by the NDP and Cons. But I'll take a moment to point out both the most significant conclusion so far, and the next steps for the NDP in building toward government.

Here's Angus Reid's analysis of the partisan breakdown of the responses:
The ads definitely serve to both keep the supporters of the two main parties engaged, and irk their counterparts. New Democrats believe the Tory ad is unfair, and Conservatives feel the same way about the NDP ad.

Still, it’s important to look at how other past voters react to these advertisements. The views of supporters of the Liberal Party and the Green Party are similar to those of New Democrats, particularly on the deficit and on the low confidence expressed in Stephen Harper’s leadership.

Green voters hold the same level of confidence in Thomas Mulcair (63%) that New Democrats give their current leader.
And that analysis itself leaves out plenty more examples of Lib and Green supporters reacting even more strongly than NDP supporters in the direction one might expect.

In evaluating the Cons' attacks on Tom Mulcair, a slightly higher proportion of Lib supporters classified the Cons' spin as "unfair", "offensive" and "untrue" compared to their NDP counterparts; likewise Green respondents were more likely to rate the Cons' attacks as "untrue", while having an even lower inclination to consider it "informative", "fair" or "true" than current NDP supporters.

Likewise, the NDP's economic ad struck a chord as "informative" with slightly more Lib respondents than NDP supporters, while Greens were the most likely to see it as "true" and the least likely to rate it as "untrue" or "unfair".

Now, Angus Reid's results do highlight one area for future improvement on geographic lines. Even though Ontario and B.C. respondents are broadly more in agreement with the NDP's ad than the Cons', they still rate Stephen Harper somewhat more highly on a separate "confidence in leadership" question. Which shouldn't be surprising in matching an incumbent Prime Minister against a relatively new leader - but does signal that Harper himself isn't yet wearing the distrust those respondents have for his party's spin.

But the good news is that there's plenty of time and opportunity to tie the two together. And with Libs and Greens seeming no less receptive to the NDP's message than core supporters, the main task for the NDP looks to be reaching out to enough of the large Con-skeptical audience which finds its economic message informative.

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