From elsewhere on LJ* I got the link to Why focus groups’ incredulity matters, which describes a problem Democratic strategists have in getting their message out. People in focus groups did not believe that the Republicans were doing what the Democrats said they were doing, even though it was stated in a relatively hyperbole-free way. Even though the focus group was told exactly what, say, Mitt Romney himself said about liking the Ryan budget and what it would do to Medicare, the focus group did not believe it.
This was an observation extracted from a lengthy New York Times Magazine piece, Can the Democrats Catch Up in the Super-PAC Game?, centered around a Democratic SuperPAC getting off the ground and the battles they’re having. That’s well worth reading if you’re interested in how the whole SuperPac thing is playing out. At the moment, I’m more concerned with an implication of that people do not believe what they’re being told, even when there’s no particular spin on it, even when it’s ripped from actual quotes.
Is the problem that there is so much being said that one cannot accept at face value, we can’t tell what should be accepted? There are so many claims thrown around, so full of spin and bias, that it’s hard to tease the facts out of them. Many of these are in fact fact-free, for example, Romney’s ridiculous labeling of Obama as “Outsourcer in chief” just yesterday.
Or is it that a lot of people don’t recognize where political rhetoric has really gone, and they think that the Republican and Democratic parties are the same as they’ve been for the last fifty years? They are not; they’ve both drifted rightward, and a lot of voters don’t seem to believe that. Most Americans have never known a world without, say, Medicare/Medicaid, and the possiblity of them being greatly curtailed or worse is unthinkable. It wasn’t even a campaign issue until the last few years.