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One Thing Voters Agree On

1186618845.jpgLast weekend I had a chance to participate in a YK panel on Global Poverty organized by the ONE campaign – only the opening of the session is available in the Ustream archive but you can get a taste here. Several of the other panelists have agreed to join us in the coming months to talk about poverty issues and I can’t wait to introduce them to the firepups – they were amazing.

Today the folks from ONE are announcing the results of a new poll they commissioned to look at the attitudes of both Democratic and Republican voters in New Hampshire and they wanted the Firepups to get a preview. The results are fascinating – the poll points to a rather unexpected agreement across party lines. As the summary notes:

Although these two groups of voters are politically opposite on many issues, there is agreement that the United States has both a security and moral interest in playing a leadership role in helping to improve health, education, and economic opportunity in the poorest nations in the world.

Here are a few of the poll’s findings:

  • Nearly all Democrats (97%) and 70% of Republicans agree that America’s standing has suffered in recent years.
  • In addition to a strong military, Democrats (91%) and Republicans (78%) agree that the United States also needs to improve diplomatic relations by doing more to help improve health, education and opportunities in the poorest countries around the world.
  • Both Democrats (81%) and Republicans alike (70%) agree that reducing poverty, treating preventable diseases and improving education in poor countries around the world will help make the world safer and the United States more secure.
  • More than nine in ten Democrats (93%) and 84% of Republicans agree that when millions of children around the world are dying from preventable diseases and hunger, we have a moral obligation to do what we can to help.
  • Similarly, Democrats (90%) and Republicans (85%) agree that it is in keeping with the country’s values and our history of compassion to lead an effort to solve some of the most serious problems facing the world’s poorest people.
  • When it comes to addressing these issues, Democrats (86%) and Republicans (67%) agree that it is important for Presidential candidates to discuss their plans for addressing global hunger and poverty issues in this campaign.
  • Additionally, eight in ten Democrats (81%) and Republicans (80%) agree that the next President should keep the commitments made by President Bush to prevent and fight the spread of AIDS in Africa.

This sure looks like a mandate for the next president to take a vigorous stance on behalf of the poor – and an opportunity for our candidates to reach out to voters of all persuasions to work for a new foreign policy which addresses real global needs. Let’s make sure they notice!

One way you can do just that is by signing up for the ONE Vote ’08 effort – and don’t miss the campaign’s cool candidate tracker.

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Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com