Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Bob Evan’s report Issue 1

My father has coffee at the counter at a Bob Evan’s restaurant pretty much daily. Often I join him there for lunch. One thing I have learned is the talk of the men at that counter often is a better gauge of the minds of typical voters in Ohio then any poll.

It is usually men, mostly 50 or older. Most of them are not all that active in politics, and though most read the newspaper and watch a local newscast daily, though they aren’t news hounds like most of us bloggers are. The score of last weekends high school football game often rises to equal if not more importance then anything congress did last week, or least year.

In any case I thought I would start to share some of the observations I pick up from these men. What they talk about, what they believe, what is concerning them and what they are hearing.

About a month ago, I was encouraged as I was hearing these men articulate the need to change. Now keep in mind these are the type that don’t like change, the status quo seems fine types. The ones that will reelect the same congressmen, councilmen, senators again and again. In this part of the state the vast majority of them being republican. But not this year. They were not happy.

Why? gas prices and the economy. I never heard them mention the war on terror once, the war on Iraq, corruption or many of the other issues we lefties are writing about every day. The got angry every time they filled up their tanks. They didn’t believe the statistics the bush administration kept announcing about the health of the economy. These men were leaning democrat perhaps the first time in decades.

That was a month ago.

Gas prices have lowered and are apparently no longer a topic of conversation at the coffee counter. Perhaps this is why nothing is done about oil prices. Perhaps this is why Oil companies are allowed to define our energy policy, because they know cyclical factors always bring the prices down right before November elections.

What they are talking about is “all those give away programs Strickland wants” “did you know Ohio is the 3rd highest taxed state in the country?”

I am no longer encouraged. When I pointed out those words were straight out of a Blackwell commercial and are misleading at best, my words went on deaf ears.

I have said this before and I will say it again, we as democrats must keep our message simple, we must keep our ears open as to what is important to the average voter and we must address them clearly, simply and repeatedly in our campaigning.

Despite the fact we may be speaking the truth, Truth doesn’t always win, perception does.


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