As buzz grows and poll numbers rise for Occupy Wall Street, the now-global movement that launched in New York City on Sept. 17 may yet become the unexpected, outside player that forces the 2012 election field to adjust its course.
A new AP-GfK poll shows that 37 percent of the American public supports OWS, while research firm Chitika shows that online interest in the movement has swelled 150 percent over the past month.
“This will have major implications on the upcoming elections,” says Gabriel Donnini, analyst at the Westborough, Mass.-based Chitika . “The movement is not dying out or going quietly and candidates will need to address the concerns and demands voiced by those on the streets and making a buzz on the Internet,” he adds.
While it’s too early to predict the impact Occupy Wall Street will have on local elections, presidential candidates have begun to recalibrate their responses, say political observers.