‘Independent voters’ a little mushy-brained

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

In the past 30 years, since the voting public started disaffiliating from the two major political parties, the word “independent” has been claimed by an increasing number of people. These so-called independents, who both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are going after, can’t seem to bring themselves to figure out for whom to vote.

According to a poll by AP/Yahoo News, a whopping 40 percent of people who consider themselves independents have yet to pick a candidate. Half of the other 60 percent said that they might change their minds. Astounding.

Despite what some armchair pundits might say, usually the two candidates have incredibly divergent positions. Can anyone say that eight years of Al Gore would not have been any different than George Bush? And, this year, if you simply compare and contrast Obama and McCain’s positions, you’ll see quite a split.

So, how can you not know which one you’d rather vote for? How could you possibly change from one to the other? The only reason is if you’re voting on personality, and not the issues.

That brings us back to the 2004 election. Late in the season, one of the TV networks put Republican pollster Frank Luntz in a room with about a dozen undecided voters. Before one of the debates, Luntz asked the attendees what they were looking for. The voters talked a big game about issues and such. After the debate, all they talked about was personality.

In the coming months, we’re going to get a whole lot more of this:

Independents, whom both McCain and Obama are avidly pursuing, remain underwhelmed. Only 21 percent find the election interesting — down from 31 percent in November — and just 7 percent say it’s exciting. Substantial numbers say they feel frustrated, helpless and even bored.

Independents are about evenly divided between the two candidates, with about a quarter behind each. Four in 10 remain undecided, and half say they could still change their minds.

“I really don’t like some of McCain’s policies, yet I don’t know that much about Obama,” said Philip Doenges, 46, an independent from Indianapolis. “I’d kind of like someone who hasn’t been in Washington.”

It’s like an article out of The Onion. Between the economy, health care, the war, immigration, abortion and a host of other issues, it should be relatively easy to support one, the other, or just tell the damn pollster that you’re voting for Lyndon LaRouche or staying the fuck home.

Poll: Obama backers are more excited than McCain’s [The Associated Press]


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