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Pew Center poll tests current buzz words. “Family values” – good; “Militia” – not so good

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on May 11, 2010 at 11:22 am |
May 11, 2010 11:23 am

Politicians don’t use words and phrases lightly. Often they’ve been test-marketed with voters to make sure that they resonate as intended.

The Pew Center for the People and the Press lets the rest of us in on the secret with this poll that measures the effectiveness of current phrases.

“Family values” is viewed positively by 89 percent of those polled while “militia” is viewed positively by just 21 percent.

Wonder why Republicans like to refer to Democrats as socialists? The poll showed that 59 percent of voters view that term negatively.

Wonder why Democrats like to refer to themselves as progressives? Because 68 percent of voters view the term positively.

The puzzler to me is the response to “states’ rights.” The phrase which took on a negative connotation in the 1950s and 1960s as a defense for Jim Crow laws in the South has been rehabilitated. Now, 77 percent view the term positively.

Take a look at the poll, especially the breakdown by party, age, gender and race.

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