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“The Biggest Threat To Carson’s Campaign”: Low-Information Candidate Worried About Low-Information Voters

On Wednesday afternoon, Ben Carson told Wolf Blitzer that his biggest threat in the presidential election isn’t Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, the two candidates who happen to be beating him right now.

No, Carson, whose poll numbers have dropped so far that he could grab a toboggan and slide down them into irrelevance, thinks the biggest barrier to his victory is “the fact that people sometimes are not well educated.”

Back in October, when Carson was in second place, he was doing much better among voters without a college degree than he is doing today with any voters.

“They don’t have a clue what you’re talking about,” Carson, who was once described by his former campaign manager as “just living in an alternative universe,” said, “and yet these are people who vote … I implore people to really inform yourself about who the candidates are, inform yourself of what their positions are.”

Ben Carson — a very good neurosurgeon who reportedly doesn’t understand foreign policy even though people keep trying to explain it to him over and over — for example, believes that free college will destroy our nation; that pyramids were used to store grain instead of dead bodies; that the minimum wage is good or bad; that Muslims shouldn’t be president; that it is okay to take a break from your presidential campaign to sell copies of your book; that gun control helped the Nazis; that people in mass-shooting situations should yell, “Hey, guys, everybody attack him!“; that prison turns people gay (“So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”); that spending a lot of money to raise money is a great idea; that Hamas is pronounced “hummus”; that New Hampshire is actually pretty far away from Vermont; and that “Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Hopefully this list will inform voters of who Ben Carson really is — and inform Ben Carson that the biggest threat to his campaign is actually the fact that he just isn’t a very good candidate.

 

By: Jamie Fuller, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, January 27, 2016

January 28, 2016 Posted by | Ben Carson, GOP Presidential Candidates, Voters | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“McConnell Is Blowing It…Big Time”: McConnell Has Forgotten What Is At The Heart Of The Strategy He Invented

My take on Sen. Mitch McConnell has always been that he is not so interested in issues/policies as he is in the power game of politics. That approach was never on display more clearly than when he said that his number one goal was to ensure that Obama was a one-term president – in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Given that, I will credit McConnell with being a good strategist. No matter how bad his total obstructionist tactics were for the country, they were a fairly effective power play. That’s why it’s been so fascinating to watch him fail so miserably lately.

As I wrote at the beginning of this Republican-controlled Congress, McConnell’s initial strategy was to paint President Obama as the new obstructionist by forcing him to veto legislation that would otherwise undo his agenda. But that is getting all gummed up by either the Democrats in the Senate standing strong or the lunatic caucus in his party making compromise impossible. The Majority Leader finds himself between a rock and a hard place and can’t seem to get much of anything to the President’s desk.

So instead of being able to label President Obama as the obstructionist, McConnell is now having to resort to using that one on the Democrats in Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats Wednesday of knee-jerk obstructionist tactics, flipping a script that Democrats used many times in recent years.

McConnell criticized Democrats for filibustering a motion to debate a House-passed bill funding the Department of Homeland Security that contained language blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Aside from the irony of that coming from the great wielder of obstructionism, it seems that McConnell has forgotten what is at the heart of the strategy he invented. Here’s former Republican Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren’s explanation.

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people…

There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.”

Those “low-information voters” don’t tend to know which party is pursuing which legislative tactic, but they sure do know which party holds the presidency. And they’ve likely heard about the “shellacking” the President’s party took in the 2014 midterms that gave control of Congress to the opposing party.

So the spectacle voters are witnessing right now is a Democratic President who is busy getting things done while Congress is gridlocked and McConnell whines that Democrats in the Senate won’t let him get anything done.

In other words, you’re blowing it McConnell…big time!

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, February 14, 2015

February 16, 2015 Posted by | Mitch Mc Connell, Obstructionism, Republicans | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Swing Voters Swing Because They’re Uninformed

One of my hobbyhorses is to track the movements of the Oscillating Low-Information Voter .

He is not a bad person. He may be hard-working and incredibly brilliant. He may be rich or poor or, more likely, somewhere in between. He may, in fact, be a she.

What Oscillating Low-Information Voters have in common is they pay very little attention to politics. Again, this does not imply stupidity—only ignorance. The Low-Information Voter is thus a different animal than the rational non-voter , who may keep up with the news but concludes his vote is statistically meaningless.

For whatever reason, the Low-Information Voter is simply uninformed.

His ideological preferences are transactional, and thus fluid: “What have the guys I just put in charge done for me lately?”

So what is this highly-prized, “independent” bloc of voters up to now?

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals exactly what I always expect. The Oscillating Low-Information Voter is oscillating! Polling analyst Gary Langer explains:

The drop in trust to handle the economy has occurred chiefly among independents, now drawing away from the GOP after rallying to its side. As recently as January, 42 percent of independents preferred the Republicans in Congress over Obama to handle the economy. Today just 29 percent say the same, and there’s been a rise in the number who volunteer that they don’t trust either side.

The “bottom line,” according to online political tipsheet The Note, is that “voters want results, not rhetoric.”

That would be the charitable way of putting it.

I think it’s more accurate to say that such voters are all-too-easily swayed by political rhetoric.

This is precisely the quality that makes “swing voters” swingable.

By: Scott Galupo, U.S. News and World Report, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Elections, Independents, Politics, Public, Swing Voters, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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