Saturday, September 1, 2012

The myth of Obama switchers

Supposedly there are a lot of Obama voters who are going to vote for Romney this time. I'm dubious, so I researched. I found one piece of evidence supporting this meme, and much more contradicting it. It's actually been a fun search.
  • Gallup did a poll and found 9% are switching from Obama to Romney. If the number is that high, why am I not seeing more signs of it? Maybe it's more of a swing state phenomenon, and I'm far from the swingset.
  • In the Atlantic, people are faking being Obama switchers: Joseph (here), Annabellep and others are pretending to be Obama-switchers. Annabellep: "that's... why this independent will be voting for Mitt Romney, and supporting him with with every ounce of my lily-white being." Sorry, I just don't find that credible. Also this commenter left all of one message on the thread. I think she's a plant, and I'm not the only one with that suspicion.
  • A dating site has the question "How many registered Democrats voted for Obama, but won't this election?" 2 switchers. Lots of snark. "You weren't even 18." "I did it in my mind."
  • This Jewish Democrat won't be voting for Obama again. Supposedly there are more like him, but none of them left comments. Jewish Democratic switchers must be either apathetic or terribly private. The site is linked to Jewish Republican site that plans to contact Jews.
  • Sodahead asks about Obama switchers. 1 out 6 is a switcher, which is a tiny sample, not an outpouring. "i'd rather vote for the devil wait he got elected didn't he." --probably not a switcher.
  • A model asks other models if they intend to make the same mistake. She's sorry she made that mistake. Most say that Romney is worse, so yes, they'll be voting for Obama again. A couple say that they didn't vote for him in the first place. The best quote: "You need to write some new material... You've been saying the same thing now since January, 2009...  Just sayin'."  Maybe that convert didn't actually vote for Obama in 2008.
  • One from the left. "So my fellow Progressives, my fellow Civil Libertarians and fellow Social Liberals, don’t preach to me about how Obama protects labor, women’s rights or isn’t ‘as bad’ as the alternative."
In case you think I cherry-picked my research, let me disclose that all of these references came from page 1 or 2 of a Google search. They were the most promising sites for finding switchers.

I think that a fair amount of the enthusiasm for Obama is gone, so there will be shorter lines at the polls. Some of those voters will stay home, a very few will vote for Romney, and some will say they're switching to cash in and appear in ads for Romney-associated superPACs. Cynical - yes. Scientific - not at all, unless Google searches are more scientific than I give them credit for.

"Currently there are no reviews for this product." 

Update 9/30/12. Check out all seven switchers at this well-funded site. Note the production values and the explanations for the switch. By the way, I found this site through paid advertisement on youtube. All that money, and just seven switchers--not exactly big results.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I found most interesting about this notion is the concept Romney floated in his acceptance speech that he (and, by extension, those in his audience) were rooting for Obama to be successful. I doubt that assertion was true for Romney or any of the delegates in the hall that night. If Obama was a success, Romney may still have won the nomination, but he'd have zero chance of beating him.

It's true that the numbers don't work. Maybe 2-4% of Obama's 2008 voters won't vote for him this time, and instead will vote for Romney. Of course, roughly the same percentage voted for McCain last time, but will vote for Obama this time around. But those who were actually rooting for Obama to succeed, and now think he's a failure who doesn't deserve a second term, despite the stauch GOP opposition to everything we did or wanted to do, is quite low. Everybody knows someone like that, I'm sure, and they can be quite vocal. The people switching the other way are not.

I agree that many who say they are switching are lying so that they can satisfy their own indignance at Obama not being the abject failure the GOP wants to portray.