A new survey of a representative sample of American voters showed that a majority of people want Congress to uphold the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.Ahh, but:
According to the survey from the University of Maryland, 55 percent of people said that Congress should get behind the agreement, despite some concerns.
The poll was conducted online, and the participants went through an in-depth process of listening to arguments from both sides. People were subjected to a detailed list of critiques of the agreement, followed by rebuttals to those arguments with reasons to get behind the deal.Respondents to this poll got a thorough briefing on the deal, with a balance of arguments from both sides. Then they were asked to come down on one side or the other. Only then did they choose the deal.
By contrast, here's what's happening in the real America, where no attempt has been made to balance the pro and con arguments citizens are hearing:
Other recent polls, providing few details or specifics of the deal, have generally found Americans tenuous about the agreement and tilting toward opposition.In the actually existing America, right-wing propagandists flooded the zone with tens of millions of dollars' worth of ads describing the Iran deal as the gateway to nuclear oblivion for the West, while proponents barely tried to combat the media blitz. And polls conducted in that real-world America show significant opposition to the deal.
For example, 55 percent of voters opposed the deal in a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday -- more than double the 25 percent who supported it. A mid-August CNN-ORC poll found 56 percent saying Congress should reject the deal....
I realize that the Obama administration was focused on what was necessary to preserve the deal, which was persuading enough Democrats in Congress to sustain a veto of a Republican bill rejecting the agreement. But that's left us with a nation that thinks the deal is a terrible idea -- just as we're heading into an election season in which Democrats are going to have to run on the president's record.
Democrats fought this propaganda battle as poorly as they fought the hearts-and-minds battle over Obamacare -- and we're still dealing with the fallout from that Democratic failure. Yes, Obamacare is in place, but it's unloved, and it may be unloved for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Democrats have been shellacked in two straight midterms, and they're likely to go into the next presidential election with a sitting president of their own party under 50% approval and a nominee (whoever it is) who's regarded with suspicion by even some voters in the party. At least there could have been some effort to sell the administration's last huge foreign policy accomplishment.
But we're Democrats. We don't do messaging.