I just left the following as a comment at Plunderbund. You can read the post and comment thread here. Polls are showing that the +50 year old female demographic is showing far less mobility in their allegiance than pretty much all demographics when it comes to the Democratic primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Warning: I use expletives, and I’m not taking them out.
I’ll take you at face value, Eric knowing I get burned all the time as you yourself have seen.
Your question was: “How is someone supposed to convince voters to side with him when they vote for his opponent knowing she will not win and claim they will not support him once he wins the nomination as they are predicting?”
You went on to answer it for yourself. You already know I disagree with your recommendation but for the record:
You can’t convince the group of voters you’re talking about in this post to side with, I think you meant “her” opponent. That’s not going to happen.
So what can you do?
1. You let them vent.
2. You try to discern the common issues important to them and to you (or the other opponent).
3. You offer as much as you can to help them see how the opponent is not only not an opponent, but in fact is an ally.
4. How do you do that? With facts.
This is all about building trust. People who already feel screwed, legitimately or not, don’t want to feel like they’re setting themselves up just to be screwed again. You read this kind of fear over and over in the rants from the Clinton Supporters Count Too people.
If not having this group “side” with the opponent is in fact such a huge problem, then the person finding it to be a huge problem has JUST AS MUCH OF AN OBLIGATION TO SOLVE IT. It is PURE AND UTTER NONSENSE in terms of negotiating and mediating and getting this particular crowd of voters to see the choice you want them to make as something they can do if you – the side that sees them as a problem – is completely unwilling to step forward.
Should it be that way? Who the hell knows. But it’s not about the way it should be or has always been. It’s about the way you want it to be and what you have to do to get there.
5. So you build the trust, but in this case, it has to be organic – that means, these voters have to really feel it. If they don’t feel it, they won’t change their allegiance.
Yes – I agree – Clinton has to send the signal that she is going to do that too. But again, part of the deep-seated piece for this particular cohort of women – primarily that 50 and older demographic – is that they’ve lived their lives saying sisters are going to do it for themselves. So part of them is saying, Well shit, what the fuck do we need men for? Fuck that shit. We’ll find our own way.
And so they really honestly in their heart believe and are okay with letting men screw themselves.
Therefore – if you see that attitude as a complete barrier to the success of the opponent, well then, you don’t win them over by telling them that they need you and must come to you because that’s the way it’s always been. They will laugh in your face. They are the generation that’s lived to prove that they can do it on their own or will die trying. Seriously.
Rather – you have to find what matters to them: their daughters and granddaughters, as well as their sons and grandsons.
This is why I am dedicated to efforts like the White House Project that helps me work on the challenge to be sure that there are more than enough women always ready and able to run and to win.
6. Then, you can’t break the trust. The issues that are in common and the methods for addressing them have to be followed through on, at all levels. From now through and after the general election.
It’s actually really very simple, Eric – strategists and advisors figure out how to target and microtarget all the time.
This situation should be viewed as exactly the same thing – but the tactics that will be used to address this group? Well – those may have to be as unprecedented as anything else we’ve seen in the last 17 mos.