The Good, The Bad and The Uninformed

Here’s another post about what has to happen before there can be a wholesale change in American political direction. Two of my friends here hold somewhat similar positions, positions that I think will both result in 4 more years of Obama.

One says don’t vote for the “progressive” Romney under any circumstances and the other says vote for Ron Paul.

Here’s what we are dealing with and it goes to my post about being stuck in the middle

A recently released Pew poll shows that with 10 months to go, only 53% can even identify the state that Mitt Romney was governor of and only 44% can identify Paul as the Republican who opposes our war in Afghanistan. (h/t to Karl at Patterico’s Pontifications)

Many voters do not know basic facts about the Republican candidates running for president or the early primary calendar. While a sizable majority (69%) knows that Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House, only about half (53%) identify Massachusetts as the state where Mitt Romney served as governor.

Fewer than half of registered voters (45%) identify South Carolina as the state with the next primary after Iowa and New Hampshire (the survey was conducted Jan. 4-8, before New Hampshire’s Jan. 10 primary). And while Ron Paul fared well in the early GOP contests, just 44% of voters identify Paul as the Republican candidate who opposes U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted Jan. 4-8, 2012 among 1,507 adults and 1,165 registered voters, finds even among Republican voters, many are unable to identify the state where Romney served as governor and are unfamiliar with Paul’s stance on Afghanistan.

In an example of how disconnected the younger voters are, notice that the absolute lowest knowledge is represented in the 18-29 bracket, with only 40% being able to identify Newt Gingrich as the former Speaker of the House. Only 32% knew that Romney was governor of Massachusetts, surprising to me was that number only rose to 52% in the 30-49 group. How can it be that less than half of the voters (combining the two groups) can simply not know this basic fact? It isn’t like it is some esoteric 1,000 year old fact only found in a dusty tome in the reference section of the public library (do we still have those?).

This is simply unbelievable to me that a politician who lead a tidal wave of Republican support a mere 18 years ago, one of historic proportions, is so unknown. This means that the only thing that these people are likely to know about Newt is what they hear in the TV ads…and these are the people that we expect to understand the difference between “conservative” and “classic liberal”? We are arguing amongst ourselves, forgetting that people like us are

Only 24% even knew that the South Carolina Republican primary was next (the poll was taken less than a week ago on January 4-8). This is not the picture of political engagement by a large group of potential voters.

How long have we been talking about this election? I’ll tell you – there are posts going back a year (this blog celebrates one year of life on Wednesday of this week), we have been discussing specific candidates for at least 6 months as they begin to sort themselves out.

This is what we face. A significant segment of America 1) doesn’t know what it believes, 2) apparently makes up its mind as it goes along, 3) thinks that elections are like the Olympics, somebody organizes them and they just happen every 4 years.

Culture first, folks. It is a long term deal and the only way to change.

20 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad and The Uninformed

  1. It’s not fair that I get lumped in with the 32% ers. (women with 3 or more correct)
    Now Huntsman is going to endorse your boy. Judging from these polls, I guess that shouldn’t worry me (most people probably don’t even know who he is or that he was running) I hate these stupid polls. They are depressing.

    I’ve told you that if it comes down to Romney, I will vote for him. If Paul runs as an Independent, I will be torn, because I know that a three-way will probably lead to another four years of Obama. I say torn because I don’t know if the majority would go with Romney or with Paul and I would definitely want to go with the majority in that situation…

    I like my coffee black, so thanks for all this sugar this morning. Screw it! I’m voting Utah!

  2. Kells: I’m just sayin’ – what if B3A threw a revolution and nobody showed up?

    We are the oddities in this mix – there are a very few people that are as politically aware as we are…not a boast, it shows in the data.

    I may disagree with you but I know that you did your homework, so I support you in making that decision. You, my love, are much more than endless pins and a mischievous smile…

    • Now I’m laughing my head off cause I can just envision our little Napolean screaming his head off at some OWS event. That would be some interesting dialogue…..hmmmm….

      B: You want a REVOLUTION? I don’t think you know what YOU want, but I’ll tell you in the most SIMPLE terms so you WILL understand? UNDERSTOOD?

      OWS ers: (quite dazed and confused, or glazed and confused) Hey! This guy wants a revolution! Yeah, dude! FOLLOW THIS GUY! FOLLOW THE GUY DRESSED IN THE FUNNY SUIT! So, dude….uh, where we goin?

      …….So where do you think the majority would go in a three-way? Still with your guy?

      • I would appreciate it if you would stop sending back-channel “warnings” for me to stop replying to you or face some sort of wrath. All you do is take advantage of my leave to make sniping comments at me that are NOT based in truth. Tell whoever to either grow up or do whatever he wants to do and get it over with. Really, this is getting stupid: it is an over reaction to a stupid school yard “oh, yeah, I can-out-do-you” game that should have never happened. I wish it hadn’t. Just make sure “you-know-who” understands who started that whole act of stupidity.

        Utah, you KNOW I never said I want a revolution. You KNOW I have said the exact opposite. Now you got Kells acting as though I advocated something I have argued against.

        Suddenly, I am starting to wonder whether or not I slipped through the looking glass and wound up on some secret version of the HufPo.

  3. The horse race we call an election process is not like the Olympics, it’s like a reality show. The media is pushing Santorum, because conflict and close races bring in the viewers. As soon as Santorum is comfortably esconced in the lead, watch the media push Paul as a “spoiler candidate”, siphoning off votes that would otherwise go to Santorum, and giving Romney an edge, but just barely, until the convention.

    Utah, my slightly younger friend, I can remember a time when the Today Show had smart interviewers, almost every show featured an author or professor or scientist, the interviews lasted longer than 2 minutes, and continued after the station break!

    The Tonight Show was similarly more intellectual than its current counterpart. Plays were televised, the news was truly in depth(three-hour prime-time ‘White papers on various subjects were common), and bimbo eruptions were not on a par with foreign policy statements.

    The question is, does the programming(I do not mean to ignore the USA Today-ing of the printed media here, either) reflect, or affect, the national dumbing-down you so excellently portray, or is there a calculus of intertwining causation/observation –>portrayal –>causation? Is this more proof that we should, in John Prine’s words, ‘Blow up the TV, throw away the papers…’ ?

    • G, the media is being used to control the people. Has been since the days of Bernays and Lippmann.

      The schools, too. I believe I’ve already convinced you of the effect Dewey had on our schools, Bill Ayres took over that mantle and has had the same effect for the past 15+ years. Have you read any of HIS stuff? Sounds pretty much like Dewey – for a reason.

      Our colleges went the same way. Wilson’s hand, among others, can be seen in academia – if one but looks.

      Hollywood: same thing. Try to get a job there is you are “conservative.”

      Ditto the papers and TV news. Look what happened to the NH. And even FOX is not the conservative strong hold people claim it to be. Shep, Heraldo, Greta and a few others are anything BUT “conservatives,” and it shows.

      At some point, this much of a concerted MINORITY opinion has to have a telling effect on society. I believe it has and that there is little chance anything will change anytime soon.

      But then, I’m just looking at history for my guide, not polls.

  4. I would vote for Paul, Kells, as he is still the most honest man in the race, the one on the most solid philosophical ground. And, unlike many in here, I think his foreign policy is spot on.

  5. Forbes Magazine/CBS Poll from January 9th:

    In a head to head match up with incumbent President Barack Obama, the indie voter chooses Ron Paul, a CBS News poll suggested on Monday.

    A total of 47% of independent voters said they would choose Ron Paul compared to 45% of independent voters choosing Mitt Romney against Obama, and 41% of independents saying they would choose Rick Santorum. If a Paul-Obama showdown were ever to take place, 47% of independent voters would vote for Paul, 81% republicans and 10% Democrats for a total of 45% of the vote. Obama would get just 40% of the independent vote in that contest, with 85% of the Democrats choosing Obama and 9% of Republicans choosing the President on election day in November. Obama would win the general election by a narrow one point margin if the election was held today between the two.

    However, Ron Paul is not the favorite among conservatives polled. Romney is the leader there, getting 90% of the conservative vote, followed by Texas governor Rick Perry at 85%. Ron Paul comes in tied with Newt Gingrich at No. 4 with 81% of conservatives voting for that particular candidate.

    Romney is the only GOP candidate seen beating Obama in November by a two point margin, according to the poll. Paul is in second.

    What can I tell you? Paul claims that he isn’t going to go independent and I don”t see how he is going to be the nominee. Nothing keeps anyone from writing him in.

    • So, my husband believes Palin may pull an October surprise. What do your polls say about that, luv?

      Speaking of husbands, can I just say there is nothing tastier than husband in the A.M.? The taste lingers with you throughout the day to the point of distraction. Now you know why women lick their lips……sorry…. back to the subject! What were we talkin about? Oh! Polls! Right. Polls.

  6. You just made MY argument: if you put Romney against Obama, Obama wins BECAUSE ROMNEY IS JUST PROGRESSIVE LIGHT – and light will NEVER defeat “the real thing, baby.”

    You want evidence? I give you Dole and McCain. I do not see that Romney is any better.

  7. Kells, Santorum is the question.

    Utah, ‘write-in’ candidates are where one gets into the truly ideologically pure voting. Vanity votes is what I call them, and you can bet that people who write in their candidate’s name are more vocal than the average voter.
    I understand the triangulating issue, it was my voting pattern for decades, except for my vote for McBride in 1980. There are differences enough to matter between Romney and Obama, mostly social issues like abortion and school prayer.
    But on a longer time scale, I think it’s about time one side or the other got a chance to either show it has got the correct formula, or concede that “it sure sounded good after cocktails.” As it is, we wobble back and forth, between half-hearted ‘good’ works like Job Corps, midnight basketball, and regulations on disposing of broken glass, and half-hearted ‘responsible’ acts like tinkering with Social Security, forcing women to watch videos before they have an abortion, and defending marriage (doesn’t need it). Meanwhile, the economy is hurtling madly towards a cliff. And the reason is half-hearted candidates, who have had the edges worn off, sanded smooth and palatable, so as to appeal to the most voters, and offending the fewest. We need to go far enough in one direction or another until we can sincerely say either “I was wrong” or “I told you so.”

    So I say, vote for the candidate who best embodies your ideals; we will all be better off in the long run.

    • Cobb, my friend, you are spot on about the “sanded edges”. I know that I have fallen into the “electability” trap. I know it and I hate it but the truth is that if I didn’t have to vote for one of them, there isn’t a single one that I would vote for. They all have issues. I probably was the closest to Cain ideologically, then Santorum, then Newt and then Romney and Perry. I just can’t excuse Paul’s isolationist and anti-Israel views. There were actually things to like about Huntsman but he just never seemed genuine to me.

      If Palin gets in, one of two things will happen – a brokered convention or a third party run for her. I think that she would pull so many votes from the Republican nominee as a third party candidate that I would consider voting for her because at that point, neither of them would beat Obama – the Republican establishment hates her enough to let her lose even if her poll numbers were 10 points above the Republican nominee in September/October. They blame her for McCain losing when the truth is that she is the only reason that he even came that close.

      I’m well aligned with Palin but if she goes beyond March to announce, it will be too late. October is too late to mount a campaign – she has no money to speak of, no endorsements and no real path to win if she waits.

      ABO. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • Thanks, G. I see where M. is coming from, though. According to those polls, we may have to join the sheeple. Or the 32% in my case…..

      Um, I seem to be grating on someone’s nerves today and I apologise. Truly. I was just trying to be funny (which, according to G. is a really great tombstone saying)

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