Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pour some cement on the mushy middle

Atrios dispels some myths about "independent" and "swing voters":

I think the big issue here is the perpetual confusion of "independent" and "swing voters" with some concept of "centrist" or "moderate" which is generally put out by the press, when in reality these people are often low information voters who are likely to vote for someone "who knows what s/he stands for" instead of someone who has mushy middle distinctions-without-differences policy positions. There are tribal Democrats, tribal Republicans, and some genuine "can be convinced on the issues" voters. But most of the people up for grabs "in the middle" aren't really in the middle in any sense that we understand it. Instead, they vote their gut and are proud of it.

Besides, if you run a mushy middle candidacy, they're still going to run commercials calling you a crazy liberal who's going to make your son marry a dude and raise taxes to 100%. I see it happen over and over.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sort of agree. Just from phonebanking - it was obvious that people of all political stripes knew things were not how they wanted it to be. That doesn't mean people were voting for something or voting left, right or middle.

My big fear was turnout would work against Dems because I sensed great cynicism and apathy when phonebanking.

I'm on the left. But I think people who decide elections aren't left, right or middle. They simply want solutions to challenges and will accept what works. Failing that they can be deceived into the dark underside of their fears.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Wulingren said...

Great comments, Rob. Who did you phone bank for? I know what side you phone bank for, but were you volunteering for a specific campaign or for an organization (DNC, DSCC, DCCC, MoveOn)? I kind of felt like I was on the sidelines for this one, since I am in Taiwan.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Wulingren -

I phonebanked for both Moveon.org and Citizen Action. Actually, one of my most recent posts was just prior to the election about a particular person I spoke too. Although not that long ago it seems like a very different world.

2:47 PM  

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