Political junkies (hi) may want to check out this Democracy Corps poll and strategy memo (PDF), called “Toward a Democratic Purpose.” There’s a lot in there to chew on, but one salient fact for our purposes : The public is very clear on the fact that Democrats are the party that protects the environment. They are also very clear on the fact the Republicans protect the interests of corporations and the rich.

What does this mean? Well, for one thing, you’re not going to get much electoral traction by pounding on those two facts. People already know. Again, all you enviros out there: People already know. Whatever your elevator pitch, it shouldn’t be based on the facts that progressives love the environment and conservatives love the rich.

What are people up in the air about? They are uncertain of who will most help the middle class, and although they think Dems are fiscally responsible, they also suspect Dems are bad for economic growth.

The lesson here is to link the environmental message already in people’s heads to the other leverage points that can sway them.

Can environmentalists tell a story about how environmentally responsible policy helps the middle class and stimulates economic growth? If not, they better get on it, and quick. 2008 will be here before you know it.

(Via Matt Yglesias, who’s got more thoughts on the matter.)