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DCORPS: Dem Challengers Must Nationalize Election

Democracy Corps has an important new study directed to Democratic congressional candidates challenging GOP incumbents. The survey is available here, and the analysis by Stan Greenberg and James Carville can be read here.

Carville and Greenberg say their survey numbers indicate that Democrats must “nationalize” the election to recapture the House or the Senate.

Disillusionment with Bush has grown so strong that our tests show that a Democrat who runs against Bush and the Republicans performs better than one who runs only against the Republican incumbent.

They stress the importance of Democratic challengers stating clear, strong positions in confronting GOP “wedge” issues, such as immigration, national security and Iraq, while advocating equally lucid policy alternatives regarding energy, American jobs, drug prices and congressional pay raises. The DCorps survey also shows that proposals to make college tuition tax deductible and to inspect 100 percent of containers coming into the U.S. also inspire broad support. They urge Democratic challengers to reassure voters that they oppose “precipitous withdrawal” from Iraq (to avoid GOP “cut and run” accusations), and articulate instead a more credible option, such as “phased redeployment over the next 12 months.”

Greenberg and Carville urge challengers to make a strong effort to engage and turn out African American and Latino voters, and especially unmarried women who tend to support Democratic congressional candidates by a large margin (29 percent in the survey), but who also have an unusually low turnout rate. There are many other interesting recommendations in the DCorps study, backed up by solid opinion research.