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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Luntz’

VAL 2016 | Det kommer att krävas mycket forskning innan vi får ett tydligt svar på varför britterna föredrog Vote Leave snarare än Vote Remain.

brexit-eu-referendum

I väntan på forskarnas svar får vi nöja oss med de opinionsundersökningar som gjorts.

En analys som låter högst trovärdig är den som Frank Luntz redogjorde för i tidskriften Time i slutet av valrörelsen när det var näst intill dött lopp mellan Leave och Remain.

Luntz är en amerikansk nyhetsanalytiker och jobbar bl.a. för CBS News och Fox News Channel.

For a majority of the British population, life today is just about getting through the day. They accept that Remain makes sense on a macro level; they get that the Big Guys (multi-national corporations, governments at all levels, political parties, even the media) benefit from The System—and the majority hopes that those benefits will one day trickle down to them. They recognize that abandoning the E.U. requires a level of risk-taking that may not turn out well for the British economy overall. But an increasing number of Brits believe the consequences to the economy are more than outweighed by the feeling (if not the reality) that they are taking control of their country and their destiny once again. After decades of feeling betrayed by the very same people and institutions that are now telling them to support the status quo—to Remain—the public appears ready to take matters into their own hands and demand radical change.

Yet on an individual, personal level, their hopes and dreams are anything but radical. It’s really about simple survival. In our polling, Britons are most worried about:

1.Day-to-day existence. Families and individuals are asking: “Will I have enough to pay the bills every month, and hopefully a little left over to save?” Translation: The E.U. may be relevant to political and economic leaders, but it is meaningless to (or even a negative for) the average taxpayer.

2.Generational survival. Parents are asking: “Will our children have the same, better or worse opportunities that I had at their age?” Translation: With Europe in perceived decline, why hitch our future to a sinking ship?

3.Services survival. Citizens are asking: “Do our current policies help, or hurt, the goal of preserving and protecting our pensions, benefits and NHS?” Translation: with the flood of immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees into Europe, a majority of Brits are crying out, “Enough.”

[…]

Yes, the Remain campaign is making very sound policy arguments, backed by the overwhelming majority of economists, but voters are saying right back: “You can claim it, but we don’t believe it. We aren’t feeling the benefits you promised in our daily lives.” Once again, the heart wins out over the head.

[…]

So the momentum is with Leave—and yet the punters and pundits still expect Remain to win. It’s not difficult to see why. In our polling, the Remain campaign’s two best arguments are “leaving will create years of uncertainty” and “we need to keep our seat at the table.”

While this is an intrinsically negative message (“bad things will happen if you reject the status quo and turn away from security…”), it does keep voters in line. Plus, the constitutional nature of the question—that there will not be the opportunity to change your vote in four years’ time—tilts the scales still further in the direction of the status quo. It’s the same “better the devil you know” strategy Cameron used to stitch together his Parliamentary majority last year.

Och nu vet vi hur det gick. David Cameron och de övriga i kampanjen Vote Remain lyckades inte med sitt i huvudsak negativa budskap.

Om argumenten låter mer som skrämselpropaganda övertygar den ingen. Kanske fick deras varningar motsatt effekt – deras negativa budskap signalerade att de inte litade på att fakta skulle övertyga väljarna att rösta Remain.

Slutsats: Desperata kampanjer gör desperata och överdrivna utspel.

Bild: iStock på International Business Times.

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STRATEGI | Radikalism i dess olika former verkar vara det som entusiasmerar väljarna i både USA och Storbritannien.

The Economist September 5th-11th 2015

I Storbritannien har Labour valt socialisten Jeremy Corbyn till partiledare. Gladast för detta blev de konservativa.

I USA har en annan socialist, senator Bernie Sanders, lockat de riktigt stora skarorna. Till stor frustration för Hillary Clinton.

Och hos republikanerna är det naturligtvis Donald Trump som mest rört om i grytan. Enligt The Economist får republikanerna skylla sig själva för utvecklingen.

In the past generation, the number of Americans who call themselves consistently conservative or consistently liberal has doubled. Ideology and identity have coalesced, so that partisans do not just think alike about taxes or Iran, but live in the same neighbourhoods and have like-minded friends. Partisanship may yet curb Mr Trump’s rise.

An awareness of this may be why Mr Trump’s tactics are becoming more conventional, and more conventionally right-wing. His campaign has started touching on themes from the late 1960s, another era of bitter politics and widespread disenchantment in Middle America. The businessman points to rising murder rates in some large cities as proof that a recent focus on police killings and abusive arrests has left officers “afraid to talk to anybody”. Most police are “phenomenal people” and law and order is suffering, says Mr Trump, calling some cities “powder kegs ready to explode”. He has begun using the phrase “silent majority” to describe his supporters, four decades after Richard Nixon started using it to rally conservatives.

Mr Buchanan, who as one of Nixon’s speechwriters coined that phrase, hails Mr Trump for tapping into a mood of renewed nationalism. “The country is on fire,” he says. His main advice to Mr Trump is to rule out an independent or third-party candidacy if he fails to secure the Republican nomination—something which Mr Trump refused to do when pressed during the Fox News debate. Mr Buchanan warns that a third-party run instantly loses the support of those whose chief concern is stopping the Democrats. “If I were counselling Trump I’d tell him to stay inside the Republican Party,” he says. “It’s the only avenue that he has to the presidency of the United States.”

[…]

But appeals to partisan purity may be surprisingly ineffective in peeling away those who admire Mr Trump. His fan-base is characterised not by the fidelity of its conservatism, but by the ferocity of its rage. Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, says he was shaken by a focus group he held on August 24th for two dozen self-declared Trump supporters. They included folk on the hard right but also ex-Obama voters. Unemployed Americans rubbed shoulders with the affluent. But the group had three things in common, says Mr Luntz. They are “mad as hell” about the state of America. Mr Trump speaks their language. And they do not care what anyone else says about him.

[…]

If Republican leaders do not know how to stop Mr Trump it is partly their own fault. Theirs is a smaller-government, pro-business party that wins elections by posing as an anti-government insurgency. Now they are facing the consequences: millions of voters dazzled by a showman who presents the next election as a hostile takeover, offering to turn America around with his dealmaking brilliance as if Congress, the Supreme Court and limits to presidential power are mere details to be negotiated. The Trump fantasy will fade at some point. It has already revealed a democracy in real trouble.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist den 5-11 september 2015.

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STRATEGI | Medan seriös media ägnar allt mer tid åt att kontrollera politikers utsagor spelar sanningen en allt mindre roll i valkampanjerna.

En förklaring till denna paradox är att väljarna i allt större utsträckning hämtar information från källor som bara överrensstämmer med deras egna åsikter (och fördomar).

Är man höger i USA tittar man på Fox News, läser The Wall Street Journal och surfar på Drudge Report. Är man vänster blir det istället MSNBC, ledarsidan i The New York Times och The Huffington Post på nätet.

“We don’t collect news to inform us. We collect news to affirm us,” säger t.ex. Frank Luntz som är opinionsanalytiker för republikanerna. “It used to be that we disagreed on the solution but agreed on the problem. Now we don’t even agree on the problem.”

Och det gäller säkert även här i Sverige. Skulle man göra en opinionsmätning här för att ta reda på vem av de två presidentkandidaterna man anser är  mest sanningsenlig skulle med största sannolikhet Barack Obama vinna med hästlängder över Mitt Romney .

Michael Scherer och Alex Altman på tidskriften Time har tittat på hur presidentkandidaterna använder och förvränger fakta om varandra. Och de kan konstatera att verkligheten är mer komplex än så.

Obama har t.ex. medvetet och kontinuerligt misstolkat Romneys åsikter om immigration och aborter. Romney däremot har på motsvarande sätt förvridit Obamas politik när det gäller välfärdsfrågor, immigration och presidentens ekonomiska stimulansåtgärder.

En annan skillnad: Obamakampanjen har varit betydligt subtilare i sitt sätt att måla sin motståndare i mörka färger. Romneykampanjen däremot har varit betydligt mer uppenbara i sitt sätt att agera.

Så vem ljuger mest? Obama eller Romney? Alex Altman skriver:

Compared with the Obama campaign’s, the Romney operation’s misstatements are frequently more brazen. But sometimes the most effective lie is the one that is closest to the truth, and Obama’s team has often outdone Romney’s in the dark art of subtle distortion. On both sides, the dishonesty is “about as bad as I’ve seen,” says veteran journalist Brooks Jackson, director of FactCheck.org.

The lying game unfolds on many –levels. Campaigns obfuscate, twist the truth and exaggerate. They exploit complexity. Most of all, they look for details—real or unreal—that validate our suspicions.

[…]

Even for the most open-minded and informed voters, truth is often subjective. Discerning it is that much harder when the campaigns cater to two different groups of voters who seem to prefer two very different sets of facts.

Michael Scherer har några talande exempel från den pågående valkampanjen.

“The truth of the matter is you can’t just make stuff up,” [Obama] told the scribblers who get paid to check his facts. “That’s one thing you learn as President of the United States. You get called in to account.” It was just what reporters wanted to hear, even if it was not exactly true.

At the time, Obama was speaking about a campaign ad from Mitt Romney that falsely claimed that the President had eliminated the work requirement for welfare. The ad was unmistakably deceptive. But just five minutes earlier in the very same press conference, Obama had offered some misdirection of his own. “Nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon,” he said. In fact, one of the President’s senior strategists, Stephanie Cutter, told reporters a month earlier that Romney was misrepresenting himself either to the American people or to securities regulators — “which is a felony,” she said.

Cutter’s was a conditional accusation but an accusation nonetheless, and at the time it allowed the Romney campaign to take its turn playing truth teller. “A reckless and unsubstantiated charge,” protested Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, who asked Obama to apologize. Of course, no apology was forthcoming. So the posturing got worse.

[…]

Indeed, the 2012 campaign has witnessed a historic increase in fact-checking efforts by the media, with dozens of reporters now focused full time on sniffing out falsehood. Clear examples of deception fill websites, appear on nightly newscasts and run on the front pages of newspapers. But the truth squads have had only marginal success in changing the behavior of the campaigns and almost no impact on the outside groups that peddle unvarnished falsehoods with even less accountability. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” explained Neil Newhouse, Romney’s pollster, echoing his industry’s conventional wisdom.

Similarly, the so-called Truth Team for the Obama campaign has found itself in recurring spats with journalists brandishing facts. One of the most galling Obama deceptions, embedded in two television ads, asserts that Romney backed a bill outlawing “all abortion even in cases of rape and incest.” This is not true. Romney has consistently maintained, since becoming a pro-life politician in 2005, that he supports exceptions for rape and incest and to protect the life of the mother.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget, den amerikanska utgåvan av Time den 15 oktober 2012, illustrerades av Dylan Roscover.

(Inlägget publiceras parallellt på Makthavare.se)

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KONFLIKT: För bara ett år sedan ansågs det republikanska partiet vara uträknat. Idag kommer man troligen att skörda stora valframgångar i november.

Uppryckningen har åstadkommits genom att tillämpa vad en kampanjstrateg i partiet kallar ”tactical small-ball”. Tim Dickinson, på tidskriften Rolling Stone, har tittat närmare på partiets strategi.

The GOP game is as simple as it is hypocritical. First: Reject every Democratic proposal — including some of the exact same initiatives that Republicans championed under Bush — while branding the consensus-seeking Obama as a radical leftist. Second: Stoke populist fury over exploding deficits, even though they’re the fallout of eight catastrophic years of Republican rule. (President Bush inherited a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion and left behind a forecasted deficit of $3 trillion.) Three: Promise to fix what’s wrong with Washington — despite having waged an all-out war to make government appear as broken as possible. […]

To challenge vulnerable Democrats, the GOP plans to co-opt the campaign strategy that ushered Obama into the White House. First, Republicans are actively recruiting younger candidates in the Scott Brown mold, men and women in their 30s and 40s who can create what [republikanska strategen Frank] Luntz calls ”a sense of a new beginning for the GOP.” Second, in a throwback to 1994, the party is drafting a new Contract With America, one that echoes the calls for greater government transparency that Obama championed. According to one strategist familiar with the manifesto, the document is designed to help cast the party — tarnished by years of blatant corruption and reckless spending — as above the backroom deals that marked both the stimulus plan and health care reform.

”The GOP is in better shape now than it was in 1994 at this time,” says Luntz. ”That’s what’s incredible about what has happened. The best presidential communicator in a generation — and Obama is better than Clinton — has allowed his opponents to get back up, brush themselves off and provide an alternative vision. The Republican Party is like Jason in Friday the 13th — you can’t kill it. It will not die.”

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