How does this compare with Americans' key problems/priorities from last year? "Mentions of government are up slightly," according to Gallup. "Mentions of health care, on the other hand, have quadrupled -- from 4 percent in January 2013 to 16 percent today, likely related to highly visible problems with the rollout of the 2010 health care law." The issue was particularly important among women, 19 percent of whom cited health care as a top problem, up from 4 percent last year.
"At the same time, references to the federal deficit or debt have declined from 20 percent to 8 percent, while mentions of the economy in general have dipped from 21 percent to 18 percent, and mentions of unemployment/jobs are the same, at 16 percent."
Interestingly, the one item that specifically addresses the Democrats' focus on income equality, concern over the "gap between rich and poor," is at only 4 percent. However, it has quadrupled from 1 percent in July 2013. While this problem currently is low, it is being driven up by ongoing messaging from President Obama and coverage from the media.
Democrats are focusing on creating problems for them to then solve through campaign promises, rather than focus on current problems. This can be very effective if there are underlying problems that they can draw upon, amplify and harp on to stay on message.
After the planning process is complete, and priorities and plans are laid out, it comes down to execution and the ability to inspire and lead people. As important as it is to focus on problems identified by Americans, it is also important to remember that the message is only as good as the messenger and the delivery of the message. It's the attitude as well as the activity.
President Obama is very good at providing a delivery method that resonates with voters. Republicans need to take note that, while message is key, messenger and delivery are also important.
While politicians and parties need to address the problems and concerns of the American people, to win at the polls in November, they will have to do it in a way that engenders connection and understanding with the voters.