That strange sound you hear…

…is the scales falling from their eyes:

Then there are undecided voters like Peggy Beekler, a retired social worker who lives in the 3rd District of Kentucky, represented by Ann Northup.

“Well, I’m rather disappointed in the Republicans,” Beekler says. “I think they’ve made a mess of things, even though I’ve been a Republican.”

Beekler is not happy about the war, but she’s also unhappy about the so-called values issues that Republicans have counted on to get their voters to the polls.

“I think to do an amendment on burning the flag would be totally ridiculous,” Beekler says. “I also think when Bush vetoed the stem-cell research … I feel like that’s ridiculous because they’re just going to destroy all those embryos anyway, so even though I am for life, I think that shouldn’t have been vetoed. I think that was a really bad thing.”

Beekler represents one of our most surprising findings: On the question of which party would do a better job on “values issues,” like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, Democrats prevailed by their biggest margin in the entire poll: 51 percent to 37 percent.

“And when we list values issues like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, these are the issues that Republicans took the initiative, used their control in Congress to get on the air to be voting on, to be talking about,” Greenberg says. “What this says: By 13 points, voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic because of hearing about these issues. Which suggests that the strategy of using the Congress to get out the base is one that’s driving away a lot of voters.”

On other issues like the war in Iraq, or the state of the economy, Democrats have a smaller advantage.

Only on the issue of illegal immigration are the parties tied — in the view of likely voters in the most competitive districts.

Voters are ready for change, but are Dems ready to fight fire with fire? (Yes, I’ve linked to that last one before.)

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