The results of IWV’s poll of independent voters by Doug Schoen, the Democratic consultant and pollster, are nothing short of stunning. It appears that the independents—who went for Barack Obama over John McCain—didn’t expect the big government onslaught we’ve seen.
Not surprisingly, the poll garnered quite a lot of attention in the media. IWV CEO Heather Higgins and Schoen teamed up to write articles for the Wall Street Journal and Politico. Higgins wrote a piece on the values of independents as reflected in the poll for National Review.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel compared the pro-business bias of the independents to what these voters see as an anti-business one on the part of the administration:
A recent survey, from Independent Women's Voice, found 63% of independents said they'd prefer a businessman who has new ideas to an experienced politician. A Bloomberg poll this week found that 77% of U.S. investors find Mr. Obama "anti-business."
The L.A. Times came out with a story on the poll that prominently featured the impact of health care legislation on the Democrats:
A total of 81% said they were "concerned" with the federal government taking over the healthcare system. And nearly three-quarters said that when they consider who to support in the midterm elections, it is important that the candidate back a repeal of the new healthcare law signed by Obama earlier in the year.
"Healthcare was an unambiguous disaster for him," Schoen said. He added: "At each juncture, people said, 'Well, when people figure out the good news in the healthcare bill, it's going to turn around.' We've heard this time and time again."
He continued: "What independents are saying is, you're presenting an approach to government and a set of specific policies that we just disagree with. We're not comfortable with your approach, not comfortable with your polices and we just don't accept this.''
The Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Anderson's piece focused on the top concern of the independent voter: health care.
And what must the candidate’s position on health-care reform be? For 83 percent of the respondents who said their vote would hang in the balance, the candidate must oppose Obamacare. So, according to the survey, if you support Obamacare, you’ve just lost 40 percent (83 percent of 48 percent) of the independent vote — before any other issue is even addressed.
Red State, the hot blog site, zeroed in on the same point that Anderson noticed.
An article on the poll in the Daily Caller took note of the strong desire for cuts in government spending on the part of independent voters. There were some cautionary words for Republicans:
“Both parties are seen as big spenders and big taxers,” Schoen said. “The Republicans are really not seen as fiscal conservatives.”
It is imperative then for Republicans who are relying on independents to swing a tight race to focus on cutting taxes and government spending, the study’s commissioner concluded.
Meanwhile, the Examiner’s Mark Tapscott was impressed both by the poll results and the Higgins-Schoen piece. The responses from independent voters led Tapscott to this conclusion:
This campaign is beginning to feel a bit like the seventh inning of a baseball game in which the pitcher has tossed a no-hitter, but nobody wants to say anything about that fact for fear of jinxing him.