Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Why We Vote
Compare and contrast these two surveys of why people are expecting to vote for their party from Gallup. The #1 reason for Democrats voting Democratic is because they always do -topping any other reason by at least a 2-to-1 margin. Gallup adds that "Republican voters are also more likely than Democratic voters to say they are dissatisfied with their incumbent member's job performance (11% vs. 3%) and that they are voting for "change" (10% vs. 2%)." For relatively few voters is this a referendum on Pres. Obama personally. Dems and Reps are equally likely to vote because they dislike the others.
Earlier I mentioned the Gawande, Krishna, and Olarreaga (2009) paper that named voters "informed" if they were unlikely to change their vote on the basis on media information. Roughly 44% of the Democratic vote depends on the information they have while 66% of the Republican vote depends on their information set - ie, candidate vs incumbent stances and relative performance, Obama views, and party platforms. However, it seems awfully strange to call voters "informed" who vote because they dislike the other party members or always vote for the same block and hence are impervious to media.
I'm just saying.
At the same time, I am interested at what isn't there. Abortion, feminism, fiscal stimulus, TARP, family values ... almost no issues are there except in the abstract. If they further asked "Okay, which of the candidate's stances or which elements of the party's platform are most important to you" we might find them. Without such prodding, Democrats want to see pro-union, pro-low/middle class policy makers and Republicans want to see lower government spending. Please take note, Republicans, that's not "lower government taxes" or "lower deficits" but "lower SPENDING." Show us the money.