Occupy Wall Street has seized control of this year's political debate

Occupy Wall Street’s rhetorical dominance of Democratic messaging fulfills one of the clear goals its followers articulated last October, when my firm, Douglas E. Schoen, LLC, conducted a survey of OWS protesters. At that time, a clear plurality (35 percent) of the Occupy Wall Street protesters interviewed said their top goal was for Occupy Wall Street to move the Democratic Party distinctly and boldly left.

They have largely succeeded.

President Obama has retooled his campaign message and has acted as an effective amplifier and advocate of Occupy Wall Street’s core messages since the beginning of 2012. His State of the Union address focused on the need for fairness and equality in American society and “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”…

A new follow-up survey conducted recently by my firm on Occupy Wall Street goals and objectives shows that the movement has new and bolder aspirations to use the rhetorical influence it has already won to fundamentally alter government policy and change American politics and society in ways that were previously unimaginable.