Friday, March 27, 2009

Will They Go Negative Now?

We've heard talk of this internal tension amongst Conservative strategists, as it relates to going negative on Ignatieff. You know the Conservatives want to, it's their nature after all, but circumstances aren't exactly ripe for high profile partisan smears, particularly with this government's well deserved reputation. I suspect there is more debate today, with the latest Harris Decima leadership poll, that shows Ignatieff is gaining traction with Canadians.

Although Harper and Ignatieff share similar favorable ratings, Ignatieff enjoys a huge advantage in the unfavorable column. Since the last HD poll, Ignatieff is up 2% on favorability, down 6% on unfavorability, for a net gain, in terms of the all important spread of 8%. Ignatieff enjoys a positive rating from coast to coast, with the gap the largest in Quebec. As the pollster points out, these numbers are quite concerning for the Conservatives, because if the "no opinion" crowd eventually breaks at the same percentages, or even worse a 50/50 proposition, Ignatieff soars above Harper.

Harris Decima also confirms a curious dynamic we've seen manifest itself elsewhere, namely NDP supporters opinion of Ignatieff:
Michael Ignatieff has been able to make gains in favourability and reduce negative impressions, among a broader range of political constituencies, including those that identify as NDP supporters.

NDP supporters have a 47% favorable/39% unfavorable, with a relatively small 13% undecided.

Conclusion. This is the type of headline that drives the Conservative war room crazy:

"Canadians warming to Ignatieff, poll suggests"

11 comments:

cls said...

I suspect Harper's negatives will increase if he does go through his interview with Fox News so soon after Conservatives were denouncing Fox for insulting the Canadian Army.

Mushroom said...

I suspect Toop and Lavigne are pulling hairs at a faster rate than Korn Kob Kory. Iggy is not Dion and Layton had a field day eating the former Grit leader for two years.

The "Iggy betrayed the coalition" message will become extremely stale come the summer and fall. This means internal party crisis and rudderless leadership from the poor NDP, if not already.

At least Harper has incumbency to help him. Layton, nothing but his increasingly deconstructive voting record.

bigcitylib said...

1) Someone pointed out that if Layton had voted with the Libs a couple of years ago then we would be leaving Afgh. today.

2) Its still a game of 4 way chess. If Iggy looks TOO good, Tories will hand the Bloc $1,000,000,000 to vote with them. So they may still be around for awhile

Mushroom said...

"Tories will hand the Bloc $1,000,000,000"

Not going to happen. The threat of the coalition is a solid trump card for the Cons. Grits gain big by extricating themselves out of it.

Rallying the so-cons to vote may be the best Harper can do right now. Especially since Iggy is slowly bringing the Red Tories into the Grit fold.

burlivespipe said...

It's interesting this CON strategy to send Harper southside, facing the 'happy-to-reflect' US media while spurning the Canadian equivalent. Harper sees this as solidifying an international image, countering Ignatieff's statesmanship, thanks to the fact that he essentially gets to pontificate to the ambivalent-to-Canada US questioners, while also getting a little warmed up with the more enabled right-wing reporting in the US. Like CLS says, I'm wondering if Harper's own base won't be a little miffed that he's dancing so quickly with the caustic Fox station after the 'Red Eye' dust-up...

RuralSandi said...

Too bad someone couldn't clue one of the interviewers in the US (not Fox of course) to ask the question about our banking system - ask if his government set it up. Harper has been lying, sort of, about this in his other interviews in the US. The Chretien/Martin government did it and Harper voted against it.

sjw said...

Obama or no Obama, most Canadians remain wary of America and I believe maintain a wariness of elected officials who snuggle up to it. I don't quite get what Harper is doing here, but I do like the fact that it maybe poses risks for him.

burlivespipe said...

LIkely right that no one will cotton to Harper's non-participation in the steadiness of Canadian banks. Half of the Canadian media hasn't made that point either, unfortunately. Maybe the best we can hope is Fox cornering Harper on Canada's decision not to be part of the coalition, and see Harper squirm trying to figure out what answer will play best back home... wishful thinking, for sure.

marie said...

Go ahead Harper, Start the dirty ads if you dare. Ignatieff will spit you out faster than you can imagine. As for Layton, if he hadn't voted to support the Cons in 2005, we wouldn't find ourselves in this mess. I wonder what he received from the cons to do that. You can bet there was something in it for him. Now we are stuck with dumb and dumber. He sold his soul to the devil and its pretty hard to get it back isin't it jack?

DL said...

The NDP voted non-confidence in the corrupt Martin government and an election ensued. the fact that the Chretien/Martin governments were totally corrupt and that Martin's people ran an absolutely incompetent campaign in 2005/2006 is no one's fault but their own.

Just think if only hadn't been for the Liberals being so full of crooks that caused the sponsorship scandal - Harper would not be in power today!

marie said...

Just think if only hadn't been for the Liberals being so full of crooks that caused the sponsorship scandal - Harper would not be in power today!

Good answer DL for a Con supporter but If Martin had been as corrupt as you say, why did he have Adscam investigated. If you think for a moment Harper is lily white, you are either naive or definitely been blind sited by him. He has quite a few bones to rattle in his own closet but you do know that don't you?

As for Harper being in power today, it wasn't only because of Adscam but quite a bit of lies by his party and totally supported by the Media.If you insist on finding out why Harper was elected then, place a little blame where it truly belongs, the NDP over the IT and the RCMP investigation in the middle of an election campaign. So don't give Harper credit for winning the election, they took advantage of the publicity by the media so they just won by default of the Income Trust affair.