Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nasty Campaign Tactics Turn off Voters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nasty Campaign Tactics Turn off Voters

Article excerpt

Byline: Star Parker

Although the current colorful presidential campaign is attracting attention from voters, indicators are that this attention reflects voters being turned off to the whole process.

According to new polling data from Gallup, the percentage saying they are "extremely or very enthusiastic" about voting dropped from 48 percent to 43 percent.

Additional polling data from Gallup points to the extent to which voters, particularly Republicans, are being turned off.

In the first three months of 2016, the percentage of Americans saying they feel "the election process is working as it should" dropped from 37 percent to 30 percent.

However, the percentage of Republicans and those "leaning" Republican saying the process is working "as it should" dropped from 46 percent to 30 percent.

In January 2000, 57 percent, and in January 2008, 67 percent of Americans said the presidential election process was "working as it should."

WE HAVE A HISTORY OF DIRTY POLITICS

I am hearing plenty of complaints about the dirt-defined Republican primaries - and more and more people tell me they are just turning off.

But dirt, outrage and even violence are far from new in American political discourse.

Going back to the 1850s, we have the infamous incident of Congressman Preston Brooks entering the Senate chamber and beating abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner with a cane after Sumner gave a floor speech that included a provocative attack on Brooks' pro-slavery Senate colleague from South Carolina, Andrew Butler.

In the years that followed, there was:

- An election in which Abraham Lincoln was elected president with just 39 percent of the popular vote.

- A horrible civil war with more than a half a million killed.

- The assassination of Lincoln shortly after his re-election. …

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