Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg is chairman of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and cofounder, with James Carville, of Democracy Corps, a liberal research and strategy group. He was the guest speaker at the Dec. 16 Monitor breakfast in Washington.
Voters' view of both parties:
"Both parties ... are in trouble, relative to their historical position.... This election will not be governed by normal rules.... [Voters] are going to be determined to throw out people that they think are making America politically dysfunctional."
Democrats' challenge with young voters:
"If you look at [the] drop in identification with Democrats amongst youth ... we are now at 38 percent, whereas it was 46 percent in the 2008 elections.... It is a long way back for young people. [They] have been hit hardest by this economy."
Republicans' problems winning new voters:
"The Republican Party is in trouble. It is not winning voters.... There are no more people calling themselves Republican ... even though they had a landslide election in 2010.... It has become a cult. Independents are now equal to it [in size]."
The opening for a third party:
"Almost any third party helps [President] Obama.... [When Ross Perot ran in 1992] those were happy times compared to now in terms of the mood of the country.... There is going to be [a third-party candidate]."
"They hate both parties equally. They are marginally unfavorable to Obama, but they hate [Mitt] Romney.... [It is] more likely they will vote for some third-party, antipolitics candidate that will be out there to gather up that vote."
Changing views of gay marriage:
"Regardless of what else is going on in the world, it is just this inexorable movement toward acceptance and drop of resistance to it."
Politicians' reluctance to ask for voter sacrifice:
"Sacrifice is an elite term.... When [voters] hear it is time for sacrifice, they are cautious about: Is there really going to be shared sacrifice; can we trust them?... There is one bipartisan issue in the country – that rich people ought to pay more for addressing our problems."