Today’s Wall Street Journal posted a piece by Douglas Schoen, who previously served as a pollster for President Clinton, detailing the ideas of the people at Occupy Wall Street.
The article reports:
The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.
Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.
This is not representative of most Americans. The article also points out that contrary to what the media has told us, only 15 percent of the protesters are unemployed (the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent). The protesters polled also represent some really bad news for President Obama. The article reports:
An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won’t vote.
Fewer than one in three (32%) call themselves Democrats, while roughly the same proportion (33%) say they aren’t represented by any political party.
The article concludes:
Put simply, Democrats need to say they are with voters in the middle who want cooperation, conciliation and lower taxes. And they should work particularly hard to contrast their rhetoric with the extremes advocated by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.
Douglas Schoen understands what is going on. It’s a shame that the Obama administration does not seem to be listening to his wisdom.