WASHINGTON – The Campaign for America’s Future launched an economic war room today to help frame the ongoing debate as the economy changes at an increasing pace and continues to get worse for millions of Americans. The operation will deliver daily poll-tested talking points to candidates, elected officials, talk show hosts, columnists, bloggers, labor leaders, activists and others, tying the latest research by think tanks like the EPI Policy Center to the latest opinion research by top strategists.
Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said the alerts will include a set of persuasive facts and arguments on key issues, linking to a comprehensive analysis of solutions to economic problems on people’s minds.
“The change in the economy has been abrupt and serious,” said Borosage. “Economic issues are obviously on everyone’s mind, so it’s important to understand what is happening and to have messages that can move people. Our effort provides real policy alternatives to the political messaging already out there.”
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake and Drew Westen, an Emory University professor who has studied the way Americans think about issues and make decisions, are advising Borosage on messages they have tested and measured for impact. Lake and Westen joined Borosage on a conference call with reporters today to launch the messaging project.
Lake said on today’s call that Americans are increasingly convinced the country is on the edge of a recession and that Washington is not responding adequately.
“Economic problems are creating deep discontent across America,” said Lake. “The American Dream is slipping away and people want leaders to focus on kitchen-table issues like jobs, education, health care, housing and retirement. They are to ready to support our ideas if we present our values and policy solutions in a compelling way.”
Westen said Americans, whether Democratic or Republican, are persuaded more by emotions and values than by a laundry list of issues so policy arguments must be linked to broader themes to connect with them.
“Progressives typically bombard people with a laundry list of issues and policy positions, while conservatives offer them emotionally compelling appeals, whether to their values or prejudices,” said Westen. “The war room is designed to change that.”
The need for the economic war room became clear when the Campaign for America’s Future met with dozens of elected officials and progressive leaders to discuss economic messaging. The group found that opinion leaders were better versed at political messages but less so on solutions and effective ways of communicating them. To fill that gap, more than 3,000 federal- and state-elected officials and 3,000 activists are already receiving alerts from the economic war room.
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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in more details about the economic war room should visit www.ourfuture.org/makingsense. Anyone interested in receiving real-time alerts, may do so by signing up on the website.**