Democratic pollsters Karl Agne and Stan Greenberg are advising "a reform-oriented, anti-Washington agenda" for Democratic candidates in 2006, based on a series of focus groups conducted among rural voters in Wisconsin and Arkansas and among disaffected supporters of President Bush in Colorado and Kentucky.
Pay close attention to who were in those focus groups: rural voters and disaffected Bush supporters.
Though Democrats have the edge when it comes to the economy, they cannot easily overcome a yawning "culture gap." These rural and disaffected Bush voters see the Democrats as weak on national security; they view Democrats as both inconsistent and hostile to traditional values. "Most referred to Democrats as 'liberal' on issues of morality, but some even go so far as to label them 'immoral,' 'morally bankrupt,' or even 'anti-religious.' " (Dan Balz's column in the WashPost is the only place I've seen this report discussed so far.)
So Agne and Greenberg are (essentially) advising Democrats to focus on what superior Republican "morality" gets us ... a crushing deficit, corruption for the sake of corporate dollars, official lying to get us into war. Agne & Greenberg's advice: RUN AGAINST WASHINGTON, especially since it's all controlled by Republicans now.
Works for me. But, then, I'm clearly a moral bankrupt.