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PROSPERITY: Economic Policy | October 20, 2004


An E-Mail to a DNC Member

In Response to a Speech by Al Gore

Excellent, as always from Mr. Gore. The comparisons of Bush policy and practices to Orwell's dire predictions are bloodcurdling.
One significant point on which I would disagree. The GOP is indeed composed of two basic groups, the economic conservatives and the social (religious) conservatives; but according to an old Pew Center study (which I firmly believe still holds true), the religious right differs with the economic right when it comes to issues of assistance to the poor and other "downtrodden" people (as long as the programs are not weighted towards racial minorities). Clinton won by exploiting that division and winning half of all born-again Christians; Clinton pressed the issue of poverty and Bush the First's being out of touch and not helping the poor.
Jobs are the similar issue in today's economy; a lot of the working poor are devout Christians who are very sensitive to the candidates' sensitivity on help for the disadvantaged or the "down on their luck". It really hits home and is given weight by the gospel of the Last Judgment: Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. Sensitivity on that issue should be decisive to many socially conservative, yet economically moderate voters in areas that have lost many jobs, as in OH and WI. When Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid" it resonated with such voters; and even with the problems overseas, jobs and the economy are #1 issues in those swing states.
Winning over socially moderate, economically conservative voters is key to winning Sun Belt states; winning over socially conservative, economically moderate voters is key to winning Rust Belt states.

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