Even as Obama’s proposals for health care changes attracted two key swing votes in the Senate Finance Committee (Republican Olympia Snowe and Democrat Blanche Lincoln), public opinion is turning ever more hostile to the proposed changes. Inside the beltway, the plan looks unstoppable. Outside it, the legislation looks DOA.
Which version of reality is the correct one?
Ultimately, it all depends on one key variable: How unpopular does the proposal become? Democrats will march in lockstep to approve a bill that lags in the public opinion polls by something like the current margin of fifteen points. With roughly 40% approving of the plan and 55% against it, Democrats will likely heed the pleas of their leaders and lend their assent.
But if the current slide in ratings continues and health care’s support slips into the mid or low thirties, all bets are off. Even this Congress will not pass a program that meets with a 2:1 disapproval among the voters. They will try to buy off the opposition with compromises, but, failing that, they will just vote no.
And we are within striking distance of driving the ratings down to the point where the bill stalls and dies. We have a new strategy and a new target audience.
Having largely succeeded (due to your donations through dickmorris.com) in informing the elderly of the shortcomings of this bill, we are now aiming at the under 30 voters who are the core of Obama’s support. By acquainting them with the taxes, fines, fees, assessments, and requirements that the legislation will impose on them, their families, and the parents, our polling suggests we can trigger a big move against the bill.
We need your help right now, urgently, to fund a new program of Internet outreach and television advertising aimed at the under 30 set.
So far, you have helped us raise $2.5 million, funds that we successfully used to tell the elderly what the bill had in store for them. Now we need the same amount of money before the end of the year to reach our new target with our new message.
We have attracted more than 25,000 donors so far, but we need more!
Please give us the ammunition and political gun powder we need to wage this battle! We have virtually no overhead and almost all the funds (net of fund raising costs) go directly into media advertising.
(Disclosure: I serve as the unpaid strategist for the League of American Voters which is sponsoring this campaign. I make no money from their efforts or your donations).
Despite the clutter of advertising on this issue, it is our ads that have been, by far, the most effective. As we shift from an argument based on cuts in care to one based on increases in taxes, fees, and, ultimately, the deficit, we need your help to open this second front.
Please give generously. We are using the same techniques of polling and advertising that I use to win elections. We have been incredibly effective so far, but we are running low on funds and need your help for the giant task ahead of us.
If we can decrease public support for this bill by even seven to eight percentage points, we will likely kill it in Congress. The recent defection of thirteen moderate Senators from the Administration on the issue of doctor compensation heralds larger defections on the health care package itself.
Give us the tools and we will finish the job!