Magazine article Campaigns & Elections

Many Will Come, but Lots Won't Even Care

Magazine article Campaigns & Elections

Many Will Come, but Lots Won't Even Care

Article excerpt

Beware, oh ye readers of this column, I am writing about something you don't want to think about. Together we are engaged in measuring electoral nanoseconds, seeing single point bumps in the polls as seismic and life changing, and watching a candidate's support among independent voters go up and down like a seesaw.

The sad truth is that right now there are, and more importantly will be in November, millions of Americans who will simply not show up to the party on Election Day. And worse, they won't even RSVP. Our friends and family, Super PACs, neighborhood committee people, union reps, and thousands of other cohorts will spend the moral equivalent of the GDP of a non-emerging nation to get these fellow Americans to the polls, but they just won't do it.

I decided to do a bit of a reality check by asking some media consumption questions- a good way of helping me assess who cares, who doesn't care, and who doesn't care that he or she doesn't care about this election. There are a number of disconnects in our polity, but among the greatest are what I would refer to as "The Palm vs. The People"i.e. the center of gravity in Washington for the conventional wisdom versus a large number of our fellow taxpayers, citizens, and erstwhile voters.

Take for example "The O'Reilly Factor." It's what I call the Cecil B. DeMiIIe production of the American right. Seventeen percent of all likely voters and 26 percent of conservatives say they watch it either every day or a few days a week. But 78 percent of independents and 84 percent of political moderates watch it rarely or not at all. Seventeen percent of voters in key swing states watch O'Reilly very often, but 68 percent completely ignore it, as do 70 percent of Catholics and 71 percent of investors.

Now, I am not picking on any one person here. Only 14 percent of all likely voters listen to Sean Hannity's radio show with any frequency- surely an impressive number if you are advertising consumer products, but not if you are trying to persuade voters. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.