PUBLIC DOMAIN ON THE FNM AND THE MALAISE

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Mwale Rahming, Pollster from Public Domain

The following appeared in The Nassau Guardian’s National Review on Wednesday 28th August 2019:

In a funk

As it approaches its mid-term in office, the current administration is in a funk.

It is struggling to get on message, but that is proving difficult, largely because so many Bahamians have already tuned the current crew out. This does not necessarily mean they have tuned in to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and its leader, Philip Brave Davis, but as Public Domain (a public opinion research firm) President Mwale Rahming observed repeatedly in past discussions with National Review, an administration’s loss of goodwill is usually to the benefit of the opposition…

The Minnis administration — the prime minister in particular — would do well to get beyond the arrogance, be less dismissive of the opposition and more focused on preserving the goodwill left.

The undecided voter is usually one who will vote against the government of the day.

“Public Domain has learned since we’ve been in the market – we’ve been in the market since 2010 – we’ve been through two election cycles, and one thing that’s very specific to The Bahamas, and I can’t tell you that it will always happen, but I can tell you what has happened in the last two elections: the undecided voters all vote for the opposition,” Rahming told National Review in June 2018.

At the time, he spoke of the danger of administrations becoming tone deaf.

“I think that the danger when people form governments is that they go into a bubble and they don’t see what people are really saying on the streets, or in the barber shops or getting their boiled fish, and they don’t hear that people are dissatisfied,” Rahming said.

“I think they need to understand that maybe, outside of your bubble, there’s an attitude going around that you need to address. And I think the message that I would give to them is step outside the bubble a bit and understand, because the last administration had this exact problem, where outside of their bubble, they didn’t realize how dissatisfied the people were, and they had an election that they thought would go well for them and it didn’t.

“I think there is a tipping point that, when you get to that point, it doesn’t matter what you say anymore; I’ve tuned you out. I won’t hear anything you try to offer me, and all I’m doing is biding my time until I can vote you out.”