Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dion / Harper a breakdown of support

Dion's challenge: A rallying cry to attract voters
Vancouver Sun February 10, 2007

The federal Liberal party's hard-core supporters are typically women, watch CBC far more than rock-ribbed Tory backers, are more likely to view Don Cherry as an embarrassment rather than a national icon, and are united in finding Prime Minister Stephen Harper "scary" and too eager to please U.S. President George W. Bush, according to a poll provided Friday to The Vancouver Sun.

But Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's most committed supporters, representing roughly one-quarter of the population, fall short as a group of the stereotype that suggests Liberal loyalists are big-city latte drinkers.

The online poll by Innovative Research of more than 3,000 Canadians indicates Dion's Canadians are only slightly more likely than core Tory backers to live in a big city or prefer a Starbucks latte over a Tim Hortons double-double.

Innovative spokesman Greg Lyle said Friday there's both good and bad news in the poll for Harper and Dion, whose parties were tied with 35-per-cent support among decided and leaning respondents in the survey of 3,184 people conducted from Jan. 8-18.

For Dion, 24 per cent are "core" supporters while another 24 per cent are considered "battleground" or swing voters who are open to voting Liberal.

Harper's pool of potential support is limited to 45 per cent of the electorate, though he has a larger base - 28 per cent of the entire sample are core supporters, according to the results.

One twist in the poll's findings is that while Dion has a much higher likability score than Harper, the Liberal leader has only a slight edge on the question of who makes the best prime minister.

"It's like Canadians are saying that Harper may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch," said Lyle, paraphrasing former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's private comment about a brutal pro-American third world dictator.

Lyle, in his analysis last week of Harper's Canadians, concluded the Tory prime minister could appeal to "swing" voters - about 17 per cent of the electorate who are mostly torn between the Tories and the Liberals - by introducing broad-based tax cuts.

He said Dion will have a more difficult time finding a rallying cry even though his pool of swing or "battleground" supporters is a much larger 31 per cent.

Lyle said roughly six out of 10 voters in that pool agreed with the statement the former Liberal government never had a plan to meet Canada's Kyoto targets, while the same portion expressed support for the notion the government could cut taxes "if it really wanted to."

"The environment is not a slam dunk for the Liberals (and) taxes is a potential problem," Lyle said.

The following are key findings in the poll, which Innovative says is considered accurate to within 1.7 percentage points 19 times out of 20:

-While 59 per cent of core Liberals were women and 41 per cent men, the ratio was the exact opposite for Tory enthusiasts.

-A slight majority (53 per cent) of core Tories live in big cities (Greater Vancouver, Greater Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Quebec City and Halifax) while 57 per cent of core Liberals live in those cities.

-Asked if they thought Harper is "scary" 46 per cent of all respondents said yes. While just two per cent of Harper's core backers agreed with that notion, three out of four loyal Liberals shared that sentiment.

-While 69 per cent of respondents nationally prefer Tim Hortons and 20 per cent choose Starbucks, the Tory base gives a slight advantage to Hortons (73 per cent to 17 per cent), while the Liberal base is essentially identical to the national average (70 per cent versus 21 per cent).

-While 42 per cent of base Liberal supporters call Don Cherry an icon, the same percentage call him a national embarrassment while 12 per cent said they didn't know. Among core Tories, 62 per cent called him an icon versus just 26 per cent who saw him as an embarrassment.

-On taxes, 16 per cent nationally say they should be cut "even if it means reduced social programs." Almost three out of 10 core Tory respondents (28 per cent) agreed with that notion, while just six per cent of Liberals shared that sentiment.

-Six out of 10 respondents (59 per cent) of core Liberals say Canada is in Afghanistan just "to keep the U.S. government happy," whereas just seven per cent of core Tory backers share that cynical view.

-While 56 per cent of all respondents said they watch CBC programs several times a week, the Tories were disproportionately low (47 per cent) while the Liberals (66 per cent) were above the national average.


MilitantLiberal said...

i think your blog is excellant. I have always found it sad that the middle can be bought with tax cuts. nice Chomsky quote.

audacious said...

thank you ...

kevin said...

*sigh* my thoughts exactly, I wish Canadians were less concerned about a bit more cash in their wallets and instead a better country.