One thing that especially struck me in that Data for Progress report I mentioned earlier is the concept of a voter’s “magic wand” preference. In other words, if you ask them to put aside any consideration of what they think other voters would do, what would they do; what policy of which candidate is their real preference.
This should be polled constantly, across political races and across policy issues, and progressive Democrats should run ads and outreach with those numbers, because I guarantee you that Democrats overall in their hearts are far more progressive than the mealy-mouthed middling muddle would have everyone believe.
If voters were constantly seeing numbers and research and survey that show them how popular and commonly-held are their “magic wand” preferences, they’d be far more likely actually to vote for and support those real preferences. The problem is that the landlords of the status quo don’t want anyone to realize this power.
Democrats have this preternatural tendency to try and preempetively determine what the machinery of politics or the outright political opposition might deem acceptable; rather than fight for what we actually believe, we prune and pare it back, hoping that it or they will see us as reasonable.
All that ever happens is that we cut our real preference of a policy or candidate we think is a 10 down to one that’s a 6 in hopes of being accepted, and then the machinery grinds it back to a 4 or a 2, or the opposition zeroes it out altogther.
Why don’t we once — just once — try letting Democrats be Democrats? Let’s procure and promote all of the “magic wand” numbers, and see what happens.