What Presidential Campaign Are We Talking About Again?

I love my countrymen:

The Pew Research Center has released a new poll showing that 41% of Americans responding are unable to come up with the names of any Republican presidential candidates without prompting.....no more than 45% came up with the name of GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani -- and even among Republicans the figure was only 57%.

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  • iih||

    And somehow they come up in droves to vote for G or HRC. Well informed democracy.

  • ||

    I recently saw my family, who are pretty good proxies for "everyman." None of them had heard of Ron Paul. None of them knew who they were voting for. None of them knew who belonged to which positions. One (of four) couldn't name ANY non-HRC candidates. And they live in an early-caucus state.

    People just aren't ready for it to be political season yet. They'll start paying attention the second week of January. You know, 2 days before they all vote.

  • ||

    And Buckley wanted to be governed by the first 500 names in a phone book?

  • T\'Mershi Duween||

    They're all the same.

    There's no need to remember individual names.

    The catch-all "lying politicians" is all the label that's needed.

    It's not like the candidates are human or anything...

  • ||

    I bet that the people who can't think of the name of a single Presidential candidate could give you the name of every winner of the big truck pull for the last ten years.

  • ||

    "no more than 45% came up with the name of GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani -- and even among Republicans the figure was only 57%."

    And these fuckers are still allowed to vote anyway?

    I hereby propose a "Knowledgeable Voter Filter" for all polling sites. The goal would be to prevent a voter from placing a vote for any office for which they can't name a candidate without looking at all the freaking red, white, and blue flag-waving posters at the church/school entrance.

    Hell - it could be a multiple choice test for that matter. I don't care. Just don't let these putzes mess with my community and country!

  • ||

    Maybe they'll start caring when we get to be less than a year away from the election.

  • robc||

    And somehow they come up in droves to vote

    Ummm, Americans never vote in droves.

  • iowan||

    Maybe the ones that don't know anyone yet are the ones that don't care yet and are the ones that actually have their priorities in the right place ;-)

  • ||

    2008 the year we take this county back
    RON PAUL
    Hope for America
    be part of it.

  • ||

    Most Americans are oblivious to the primary process anyway, and just worry about who their party picks, and then vote for that person when November comes around.
    These are people like my grandmother, who lives in Maryland. When my mom asked her what she did that day (this was November 2006), she said that she went out to vote. When asked for whom she voted, she said she didn't know who any of the candidates were, so she just voted all Republican.

  • ||

    Maybe the ones that don't know anyone yet are the ones that don't care yet and are the ones that actually have their priorities in the right place ;-)

    Except that it's completely impossible to listen to *any* news, watch any news, read any newspapers, or visit any news sites without hearing the names of candidates repeatedly. So yes, these people are complete and total morons. Idiocracy is starting to look like a documentary.

  • ||

    Idiocracy is starting to look like a documentary

    Chris S.
    That movie actually was really depressing. Especially the part in the beginning with the two family trees...And the part with the sports drink... heck, the whole thing was too close to home.

  • Episiarch||

    I find it reassuring that people don't know. It means that most people aren't fucking political wonks who live and breathe politics, and instead just have regular, real lives.

    However, it would be nice if they voted that way, i.e. that the less government the better as we could all just get on with our regular, real lives.

  • ||

    How abut restricting voting to property owners, or men, or whites, or people who can read and speak English, or people who can afford a poll tax?

    Listen, there have always been underinformed and uniformed voters and there always will be. There is no need to clutch the pearls over the situation. We've muddled through and become a fairly successful nation in spite of the fact that we're basically a bunch of 'tards. (Don't worry scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.)

    In fact, I'd argue that it is irrational to spend valuable time and resources fretting over presidential political maneuvering well before the first primary / caucus unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire (and maybe South Carolina and Nevada) since whomever is perceived to be the front runner after these votes will be the nominee. Unless you live in these two (or four) states and you plan to vote, all your angst and fervor and agita and glee will be for naught.

    By February 5th (or whenever it ends up) it will be over and we'll have the general election monkey business to suffer through.

    Chances are very high it will be Hillary vs. Rudy. Which will be mildly interesting from an inside baseball perspective (Hillary is loved, loved, loved by Dems; hated by Reps and 50/50 with Inds vs. Rudy's support among Reps is shallow but Inds don't hate him; and then we throw in the Iraq War wildcard).

    Most people rightly ignore politics because it doesn't really matter to their lives except at the very margins and about stuff they really don't care fuck all about even if they should.

    Meanwhile, Welcome to Carl's Jr. Would you like to try our EXTRA BIG ASS TACO? Now with more MOLECULES!

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    There's no chance I'll vote and I can name all of the Democratic and Republican candidates (except Duncan Hunter).

    ... there's something wrong with my life.

  • ||

    Who cares? For one thing, this is rational ignorance; of the many people running now only a few have any real chance, so why waste time and energy learning about all of them? It is efficient to let other people winnow out the inferior candidates.

    For another, people that don't pay any attention to politics worry me less than the leftist fanatics and religious fanatics who are obsessed with politics, always coming up with ways for the state to steal my stuff or keep me from seeing girl's boobs. Libertarians (and conservatives, too) should be happy there are such people out there.

    Reinmoose,

    Voting party line is also an efficiency measure; figuring out every candidate's positions and life history is time consuming, and not fun for a lot of people. It makes sense for them to choose a party that roughly fits their values or interests, and vote for whoever that party selects.

    Chris S.,

    It is impossible to not hear about sports, and yet I still know nothing about sports. For some people following politics is a fun hobby, but not for everybody. I know people who carefully follow sports, and I know people who carefully follow Broadway. I don't know jack shit about sports or Broadway, but I doubt the Broadway and sports aficionados think I'm an "idiot" or a "moron." Life is brief, and you should spend your precious time on things you enjoy.

  • ||

    mitch -
    only a few have any *real* chance because people only pay a shred of attention to politics. It's not the other way around.

    I understand the efficiency of voting party line, but that doesn't mean that the party is representing you except for on the high-publicity items that they don't actually do anything about once elected.

  • ||

    "The Pew Research Center has released a new poll showing that 41% of Americans responding are unable to come up with the names of any Republican presidential candidates without prompting."

    That's why I love Hit & Run! In a world of bad news, they always see the light at the end of the tunnel!

    Just as I was starting to fear that people were starting to think that politics were important, here comes Doherty to set the record straight. Thank you for that. ...this has restored my faith in humanity again--at least for the moment.

  • ||

    I'm not sure I'd want to eat a taco with molecules in it. Isn't that dangerous?

  • ||

    The year away election...

    I never understood this. I hear it all the time, but I just don't understand it. If you truly care about your country, your freedom, and the future of your children, you MUST pay attention. It is ONLY through the primaries that you really get a choice.

    The wrong people get to control who will be your next dictator because so few people participate in the primaries. And then we hear people actually WHINE about being forced to deal with it. On political blogs no less!! What, did you think you were here for sports?

    Yep. It's true. We really do get the government we deserve.

  • ||

    joe,

    Thank you! Your account has been charged. Your balance is zero. Please come back when you can afford to make a purchase.

  • ||

    It is impossible to not hear about sports, and yet I still know nothing about sports. For some people following politics is a fun hobby, but not for everybody. I know people who carefully follow sports, and I know people who carefully follow Broadway. I don't know jack shit about sports or Broadway, but I doubt the Broadway and sports aficionados think I'm an "idiot" or a "moron." Life is brief, and you should spend your precious time on things you enjoy.

    Yeah, following politics could be called a hobby (particularly for some people - myself included), and voting itself isn't necessarily rational. On the other hand, if you're not at least aware of changes in your world that could alter your take home pay by as much as 10%, completely change the way you receive medical care, etc., then yes, you are a total moron. People have every right to be stupid, and every right to be ignorant, but they're still stupid and ignorant.

  • ||

    your children are now in the custody of Carl's Jr. You are a bad father.

  • Soda Jerk at Carl\'s||

    No, joe. Molecules is what you krave.

  • ||

    Oh, I forgot. My last two posts were sponsored by Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator.

  • ||

    Except that it's completely impossible to listen to *any* news, watch any news, read any newspapers, or visit any news sites without hearing the names of candidates repeatedly. So yes, these people are complete and total morons. Idiocracy is starting to look like a documentary.

    You can get by just fine (and not be a moron) without paying attention to the news, in whatever form. Believe it or not, there are people out there who have other things on their minds.

    It's early yet. The campaigns are still in fundraising mode. Once they get into actual campaigning mode, the carpetbombing of TV and radio with campaign ads will change those numbers.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    Thank you Scott McDonnell -- you're absolutely right. Libertarians are the worst about griping and moaning and then doing NOTHING about it. Ron Paul matters, if for no other reason than that he got some of those people to get off their asses and do something.

    I have to admit that the statement I hate the most is that the "real" election is in November 2008 and, as a result, hearing pundits and other morons talk about how we need fewer choices so that we can get down to the "real" debate. Maybe one of those political geniuses can explain to me how you have MORE debate with FEWER options and ideas.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    ChrisO -- You can "get by just fine" without paying attention to the news, but you don't have any right to gripe about the way things are. The last thing we need is people taking their voting cues from TV and radio ads.

  • ||

    It is impossible to not hear about sports, and yet I still know nothing about sports. For some people following politics is a fun hobby, but not for everybody. I know people who carefully follow sports, and I know people who carefully follow Broadway. I don't know jack shit about sports or Broadway, but I doubt the Broadway and sports aficionados think I'm an "idiot" or a "moron." Life is brief, and you should spend your precious time on things you enjoy.

    mitch, a spokesman for perspective! Well said.

  • ||

    The last thing we need is people taking their voting cues from TV and radio ads.

    TDR, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but that is the FIRST thing we have.

  • ||

    Except that it's completely impossible to listen to *any* news, watch any news, read any newspapers, or visit any news sites without hearing the names of candidates repeatedly. So yes, these people are complete and total morons. Idiocracy is starting to look like a documentary.



    Bull. If you have foxnews, cnn, cspan, or msnbc on 24 hours a day - sure you may have a point. But the other 9000 tv stations and other media outlets barely spend more than 5 minutes or a few inches of space on the primary campaign.


    It is impossible to not hear about sports, and yet I still know nothing about sports. For some people following politics is a fun hobby, but not for everybody.



    Well said.

  • ||

    ChrisO -- You can "get by just fine" without paying attention to the news, but you don't have any right to gripe about the way things are. The last thing we need is people taking their voting cues from TV and radio ads.

    Sadly, much of the "news" isn't really news anymore, but infotainment. I doubt a person loses much by not paying attention that.

    As to relying on campaign ads, I agree with you. However, I was confining my point to the narrow context of this thread, which is candidate recognition. That undoubtedly will increase when the candidates are busier getting their names out to the non-donating portion of the public.

  • ||

    Wouldn't the Pew poll results suggest that current polls on candidate preferences aren't worth very much? Or do those polls screen out unlikely voters? Same question for the Pew poll itself.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    J sub D -- Of course. Paid ads are pretty much the ONLY thing people hear. It makes me cry soft tears at night.

    (Well, not really -- I don't take it THAT seriously...but I am making plans to flee in the event of a Hillary v. Rudy showdown).

  • ||

    Paid ads are pretty much the ONLY thing people hear.

    Make that "the only thing people pay attention to." To expand on someone else's post, I'm sure I heard who won the Stanley Cup last year. I'm sure I read the headlines about it. I'm sure that people talked to me about it. Hellifino who won the damned thing. I read and hear about it, but it just doesn't go into pemanent memory. Disclaimer, I like sports, just not hockey.

  • ||

    ut I am making plans to flee in the event of a Hillary v. Rudy showdown

    I'm with you there, pal. Grand Cayman or Switzerland? Beach bunnies or snow bunnies? So tough to choose.

  • robc||

    ChrisO,

    Personally, I would go with the Caymans. I use to be one phone call away from a job in Switzerland but its been too long now, probably. Its been over 16 years since I lived there and about 12 years since I contacted anyone. Not that I have any contacts in the Caymans, but its closer and has beaches. Plus, once the Swiss joined the UN it wasnt as obvious of a great fallback plan.

  • ||

    I wish the media would report facts like this along with the countless polls that tell us who is "leading". If only 25% of the country is paying attention at all, why should undecided voters put any credence in the results of the so-called "scientific" polls this early?

    And why should the media limit its news coverage to the so-called front-runners, or give the early poll leaders proportionately more time in the debates?

  • Mike Laursen||

    I find it reassuring that people don't know. It means that most people aren't fucking political wonks who live and breathe politics, and instead just have regular, real lives.

    However, it would be nice if they voted that way, i.e. that the less government the better as we could all just get on with our regular, real lives.


    Amen, Episiarch.

  • ||

    Grand Cayman or Switzerland? Beach bunnies or snow bunnies?


    Or Moundhouse Nevada, where the bunnies actually put out! (for a fee, of course)

  • T||

    I find it reassuring that people don't know. It means that most people aren't fucking political wonks who live and breathe politics, and instead just have regular, real lives.

    But without fucking political wonks who would post here?

  • ||

    "I bet that the people who can't think of the name of a single Presidential candidate could give you the name of every winner of the big truck pull for the last ten years."


    True. That sounds like the majority of folks inj south VA, upstate NY, and almost all of ILL to me. Those states should be excluded from voting.

  • ||

    Also western michigan. They are truck-pull lovers too. Exclude michigan from voting.

  • ||

    And the florida panhandle! Red neck riveria. Exclude florida.

  • ||

    I just read the bare majority of people living in DC dont know who Rudy is. Exclude DC.

  • ||

    That's the most moving thing I've read all day... sniff...

  • ||

    Make a campaign donation to The Void today!

  • ||

    It depresses me that I can name most of the Republicans and Democrats who are running. What a miserable pack of vermin they all are.

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