View Full Version : The moral values ? from ABC's polling director

11-06-2004, 08:07 AM
If you want a good, no preaching/no spin assessment of the moral values question in the exit poll, read this OP-ED from the New York Times.

His conclusion

The point, instead, is that this hot-button catch phrase had no place alongside defined political issues on the list of most important concerns in the 2004 vote. Its presence there created a deep distortion - one that threatens to misinform the political discourse for years to come.
Any person from either side who tries to build on this badly worded question is going to doom themselves to a strategy of failure. This is as true for Rep's as Dem's. This is not a "spin" for why Kerry lost, but a very tightly reasoned analysis of a poll by a compotent professional. The almost identical sentiments are expressed by David Brooks (conservative) on the same page http://nytimes.com/2004/11/06/opinion/06brooks.html

Both Times links require registrations.

11-06-2004, 11:06 AM
Well, maybe so, and you know I've always respected your opinion.

Your new thread inspired me to do a search for information concerning the position of the Republican Party, and the Bush campaign, on 'morals'.

I'm still embedded in a vast list of fascinating links, but I couldn't resist posting this little gem, which begins thus...

"For the first time in decades, it wasn't the economy, stupid. It was morals that decided the presidency of 2004. Evangelicals came out strong for the president and everybody knows it.

President George W. Bush has the God-given opportunity to become the statesman of the century.

A second-term president is free from the persistent pressure of political advisors whose chief concern is getting him re-elected. Moral clarity rises above the ground fog of conflicting interests.

The president won by convincing Americans that he is a decisive leader with a clear vision, unafraid of making tough decisions and stands for the moral values of mainstream America..."


Pay careful attention to the emphasis on pornography:

"Mr. President, lead this nation in the path of righteousness and heaven will smile upon you...

Direct federal agencies to enforce our laws so that we and our children are spared the degradation of illegal pornography and indecency on our public airwaves."

These people are real, and there are a lot of them...

11-06-2004, 12:51 PM
Why the jump? One reason is that the phrase means different things to people. Moral values is a grab bag; it may appeal to people who oppose abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research but, because it's so broadly defined, it pulls in others as well. Fifteen percent of non-churchgoers picked it, as did 12 percent of liberals.
I knew that something smelled a bit funny!! Unfortunately, the pundits will still be using this catch phrase six months from now. Propaganda drives a Corvette, while the truth laggers behind in a milk truck. And most church going folk don't watch Meet The Press (because they're in church).

These exit polls are quickly becoming the "pregnant chads" of 2004. ;D

Arianna Huffington was on some show the other night, explaining that while the left needs to address the "values" issue, that there is a lot more to "values" than just sex related matters. Maybe thats why 12% of liberals picked it in the poll.

11-07-2004, 07:22 PM
Let it be said clearly: Bush won because in contrast to most party leaders here, he was not shy in emphasizing the moral issues, unafraid to emphasize his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. In Illinois, we have what I call the Judy Baar Topinka style of pandering. Ignoring the GOP's national stand on defense of marriage (she plays her accordion eagerly at gay-rights rallies), her assaults on the political right are destructive to the party base. When her term as state GOP chairwoman ends, it is imperative her successor break with the past and support Bush's positive social values. A main reason Illinois is a Democratic state today instead of the swing state it should be is because three past Republican governors -- Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar and George Ryan -- shortcircuited the Reagan revolution on social issues.

--Tom Roeser, Chicago Sun-Times, 11/6/04

Jay Zeno
11-07-2004, 08:43 PM
From Ellen Goodman, a pretty liberal pundit, and proud of it:

"On the bell curve, Bush supporters liked George more than Kerry supporters liked John. Kerry supporters hated George more than Bush supporters hated John. The Web sprouted sites such as KerryHatersforKerry.com offering slogans like "He's awful and I'm for him." The question was whether there was enough anti-Bush to heat up the lukewarm Kerry support -- and the answer was no. Kerry never got from ABB to JFK."

Full text at

11-08-2004, 05:48 AM
JZ strikes again!

I liked this part...

"John F. Kerry was a Vietnam vet and the "Swift Boat veterans" wounded him anyway. John F. Kerry came out against gay marriage and got tarred with it anyway. He shot a goose and the NRA hated him anyway. He said life begins at conception and the Catholic Church came after him anyway. He won the debates and it didn't matter.

In the end, a majority of Americans -- 52 percent to 46 percent of likely voters -- were dissatisfied with how things were going and still voted for the man in charge. A majority -- 47 percent to 41 percent -- thought we were on the wrong track and still re-elected the conductor. Given the choice between the commander in chief of the war and the guy who promised only a "smarter, more effective war," they decided to go home with the guy what brung 'em to the battlefront. Fear didn't just trump the long-jawed hope. It trumped the economy, it trumped health care."

11-08-2004, 09:10 AM
These people are real, and there are a lot of them.........and they are very well organized and they vote, take them lightly at your own peril.

Speaking or the morals issue, where does tolerance and compassion for others come in to play?

Jay Zeno
11-08-2004, 09:24 AM
I thought you'd find nuggets to your liking in there, Djoser. I posted the link to the full text with you in mind.

As for me, I take a conservative or liberal pundit's opinions as most profound when they criticize the interests that they serve. Ellen Goodman talking about the Democrats' shortcomings is good stuff. James Kilpatrick talking about failings in conservatives gets my attention. When either or both of them explain away their parties' failures due to lack of character on the other side, or blanket ignorance on the part of the voters, the credibility of their statements declines for me.