Myth of the Rational Voter

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Democrats Losing Voters

Looks like Obama is going to have a tougher time getting back in the White House next year, according to WMAL:

A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.

“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author.  “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”

Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.

In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters while Republicans lost 3.1 percent.  The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.

This is not really news; voters have been fleeing both major parties over the past decade due to overactive hyperpartisanship, a greatly expanded bounty of information from blogs and social media that have destroyed “big media“‘s credibility, and that neither party is actually focusing on delivering a consistent message and consistent policy, but has been playing too much politics. What is interesting is that more are fleeing Democrats than Republicans—at least in these states, and I think that has to do with a couple of things:

No one is taking away ability to vote

There’s a new progressive meme running around lately, and that’s that voter regulations that are floating around are somehow designed to prevent minorities from voting.  I’ve seen it a couple of places, and frankly I’m kind of sick of it.  I’m not a fan of undue burdens in anything, but the latest from the left is just idiotic.

A case in point is columnist E.J. Dionne.

These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 — or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments.

Again, think of what this would look like to a dispassionate observer. A party wins an election, as the GOP did in 2010. Then it changes the election laws in ways that benefit itself. In a democracy, the electorate is supposed to pick the politicians. With these laws, politicians are shaping their electorates.


The laws in question include requiring voter identification cards at the polls, limiting the time of early voting, ending same-day registration and making it difficult for groups to register new voters.

Now, I’m not a fan of making things more difficult for groups wishing to register new voters, but after ACORN’s fraud, I don’t blame states for trying to prevent those sort of shenanigans again.  As for the rest of that?  Where’s the alleged racism?

Political aftermath

Osama bin Laden is dead, and there’s bound to be some political aftermath from killing the most wanted man in American history.  This was something that President Bush tried for two terms to do, so what happens next?  Politicians often get blamed for things beyond their control.  They also get credit for things beyond their control.  So what’s the deal here?

First, President Obama is going to get a significant bump in the polls from this.  Make no mistake here.  I wouldn’t be surprised at a 20-30 point bump and would only be mildly surprised if it’s higher than that.  As President, he gave the order to kill the most evil man most Americans can even think of.  This will resonate with most Americans for a little while.

The trick will be sustaining that bump, which will be virtually impossible.  Americans are loving President Obama right now, just like they loved President Bush right after 9/11.  It isn’t the fickle nature of the American people, but the fact that something significant happened and they naturally look toward the man selected to lead them.

Yesterday, a friend of mine asserted that Obama will be unbeatable next November after this.  Of course, this friend usually believes that Obama will be unbeatable.  It’s his pessimistic nature.  However, I reminded him of President George H.W. Bush, or George the First as I call him.  He had a sky high approval rating midway through his term following the successful conclusion of the Gulf War.  Yet, come the next election, he found himself packing to make room for a governor from Arkansas.

The truth is that Obama will benefit from this, at least in the short term.  However, unless the economy shows more signs of improving and gas prices drop, next November will still be a tough battle.

Obama loses half of his supporters

As if the mid-term elections weren’t evidence enough that Barack Obama has problems on his hands, here some piling on that point:

Nearly half the people who once considered themselves supporters of President Barack Obama don’t anymore.

Other than that, his virtually nonstop cross-country campaigning for embattled Democrats in the Nov. 2 election is working perfectly. Monday night, he spoke to two party fundraisers of ordinary American millionaires in Miami, as The Ticket reported here.

A new poll released today by Bloomberg News finds all that hopey-changey stuff is rapidly turning to disappointment and disenchantment. While 47% of all voters approve of Obama’s job now, ominously for 2012 only 36% of onetime Obama supporters now approve. Feeling jilted?
Of course, Obama is on no ballot three weeks from today. But Republicans appear to be succeeding in making the Democrat’s first midterm election — a time of traditional defeat anyway for the party of the White House occupant — into a referendum on the Illinois guy.

Something about a stubborn national unemployment rate of 9.6% despite $700+ billion in non-stimulating stimulus spending and promises to keep the jobless rate below 8%.

Voters see an unethical Congress

Despite promising “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history,” voters don’t believe that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has kept her word:

Most voters think Congress’s ethics have gotten worse in the past two years, according to a new poll in key battleground districts.

The finding suggests that people likely to have a big say in who controls the House in the next Congress believe that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has failed to keep her 2006 promise to “drain the swamp” of congressional corruption.

The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll finds that 57 percent of likely voters in 12 competitive districts believe that the ethical situation on Capitol Hill has deteriorated since President Obama took office. Thirty-two percent of respondents say there has been no change, and only 7 percent claim it has improved.

Though it was released before this poll, a recent follow-up on this claim by the Associated Press founds the sentiment of the voter to be accurate, as several Democratic representatives are currently facing ethics accusations and charges, including Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

There have been some reforms, but the ethics issues still remain.

John Kerry expounds on voters

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) recently expressed his frustration to reporters about losses Democrats are staring down in the mid-terms:

“We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening,” Kerry told reporters after touring the Boston Medical Center yesterday.

Yep, slogans like “Yes We Can” and “Hope” and “Change.” Oh wait, sorry, about I’m recalling 2008 when the Barack Obama ran for president on cheap slogans rather than “the facts or the truth.”

The problem is that voters were so angry, Obama could get away with it. Republicans, from what I can tell, aren’t really running on much more than “we’re not Democrats,” as evidenced by the Pledge to America, and they they can get away with much the way Obama did in 2008.

California Republicans and the June 8th Primary

California Republicans believe their best chance at keeping the Govornor’s Mansion and taking the Senate seat is with two Women who have very successful business careers.  This is a good strategy.  At a time when budget deficits are on the minds of many Americans, successful CEO’s who know how to run a profitable business will have as good a chance as any at getting elected.

Although I voted for Steve Poisner and Chuck DeVore, I could easily vote for Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in November.

It was a low voter turnout, with 80.9% of precincts reporting, only 22.2% of California voters came out to the polls. (as of 2:08am PDT 6/9/10)

Regretfully, Proposition 14 passed.  This will make it much more difficult for 3rd parties to make it onto the ballot.  Now, only the top two vote winning candidates will appear on the ballot in the general election.  Thanks to this measure, you cannot vote for a write in candidate outside of a primary.  It could also lead to two Republicans or two Democrats on the ballot for most State and Federal races (excluding the Presidential race).

McClintock Lead Grows

According to the most recent public statement of the McClintock for Congress campaign Tom has now extended his lead by over 800 votes, up from 400 on election day, as additional ballots are counted. For those of you who are not familiar with Tom McClintock, he is the Republican candidate for California’s 4th district. He is a true fiscal conservative, something we need a bit more of in Washington.

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