Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Short: Interesting observation on campaign issues

Here's a somewhat biased article on campaign issues from the Daily Beast. It notes that a majority of Americans support Obamacare or want something even more progressive. It also notes that a supermajority of Americans now support same-sex marriage being legally recognized.

What's interesting is that Obamacare probably should be a more defining issue since it affects many more people. But contrary to expectations, marriage may be more important when it comes to voters' decisions because the GOP may make themselves look "prejudiced or out of touch..." And it's easier to see that with same-sex marriage than with the complex issues of healthcare.

I really wish Americans didn't subcontract their thinking out to strident and shallow third parties. But I'm lazy about some things too, so I should be more understanding.

It will be interesting to see if the prediction in this article is correct. But we can't be sure what really affected people in the voting booth. A better indicator may be the chatter in the media and social media. And that will be visible.

Don't be a cranky old fart.


Dangerous said...

Nearly everybody votes their perceived self-interest. Appearing "out of touch" makes people question whether a politician even understands their interests, even if that politician is out of touch on a issue on which they have a low personal stake. The shorthand used to be called "judgment", but now fealty to ideology (Obamacare opposition) or the self-interest of one's target constituency (opposition to same-sex marriage) fills that niche.

Nevertheless, in voters' minds the GOP is prone to have to live with their Chicken Little declarations about Obamacare that haven't even remotely come true (they pretend and proclaim they have or will anyway). There's a duality between these two issues, however, in that now a majority of people have decided that same-sex marriage is really no big deal in its impact on them since the people behave as if married anyway. And the opponents look shrill and mean, and most people don't like that. For Obamacare, since negative consequences which people would care about haven't happened, indifference to the program grows everyday, but most people maintain and wait-and-see attitude and will continue to oppose it in surveys until it's crystal clear that it either works FOR them, or has not discernible impact at all.

What I find amazing is that they have to survey this stuff and focus group it at all. Both fall into the "perceptions = reality" media machine, as if other people actually have a voice in whether strangers can get married or not, or if the facts say Obamacare was a net plus or a net minus on their lives. It's more like scorekeeping on the effectiveness of the messaging, because most people do not study the issues in depth, think critically about them, and make a rational decision. The media focuses on the intensity because it draws audiences.

ModeratePoli said...

@dangerous, very good observations. However, I think the referenced article goes somewhat farther by predicting how two issues will play out in the election.