Friday, October 8, 2010

The Myth of the Swing Voter

In my continuing series of how Democrats are total dumbasses, I'd like to take a quick look at the myth of the "swing voter" - the alleged voter who doesn't know who to vote for right up to election day, who is a moderate, and runs around with unicorns in his or her spare time.  I mention the last part because, like Karl Rove, I don't believe swing voters exist. Or, if they do, taking moderate positions or trying to please David Broder isn't going to help.  Once again, Rove figured this out in 1994-ish, but the Democrats are still trying find these votes. 

The reality is that the two parties are so polarized over issues like abortion, unions, health care, education, etc., that virtually everyone has made up their minds about the party they're going to vote for IF THEY VOTE.  And that's the rub.   The choices going into any election is not simply Democrat or Republican, its Democrat, Republican, or not voting (or voting for a random independent candidate).  And may "swing voters" are, in fact, disengaged voters who have a preference when they vote, but are so disgusted by politics that they don't vote. 

See, that's what Karl Rove and the GOP has long since figured out.  So rather than play to the "mythical middle," they reach out to their base, pump them up, and get them out to vote.  That's how the GOP has won almost every national election since 1994.  It was only in the latter days of the Bush Administration, when the Conservative base was demoralized and the Liberal/Progressive base was energized, that Democrats starting winning again. 

To the extent that swing voters exist, they do so only because they are so disengaged from politics that they don't know who to vote for, but at the same time still vote.  Those voters are simply going to go with the whichever base is more fired up.  Of course, everyone Republican knows this.  So why is it that only bloggers on the Democratic side know this? Ugh.

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