The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Most Important Voter in America

Posted on | October 15, 2012 | 17 Comments

A lot of people laughed at this news last week, but if only she lived in a swing state, Lindsay Lohan would be the perfect example of why Barack Obama’s on the verge of losing this election:

Lohan is a low information voter convinced that (a) employment is really important, (b) thinks that employment is not being sufficiently handled by the White House right now and (c) thinks that Mitt Romney is better equipped to handle employment.
That arguably logical sequence is all that it takes for a low-information voter to support Mitt Romney. The thing is, there are millions of voters like her. That should terrify the Obama campaign.

Matthew Cochrane feigns outrage at the characterization of Lindsay as a “low-information voter,” but contrary to what you might think, the term is not necessarily synonymous with stupid.

A “low-information voter” is simply someone who doesn’t pay a lot of attention to politics. Whereas most people who read blogs like this are political junkies, the typical “swing” voter isn’t. People who tend to vote only in presidential elections — never a primary, and rarely if ever in an off-year — aren’t stupid, they’re just busy with other things: Jobs, families, DUIs, court hearings, probation, rehab . . .

These people show up in polls as “don’t know”/”don’t care” most of the time. They’re not all into the issues, they’re not glued to the tube watching cable news 24/7, but they feel a patriotic duty to vote in presidential elections and they tend to ignore politics until a month or so before Election Day, when they say to themselves, “OK, which one of these clowns am I going to vote for?”

The basis of their decisions may seem simplistic to us political junkies, but this is just how regular Americnas think, and the simplicity of Lindsay Lohan’s logic — “Hey, the economy sucks and Mitt’s a business guy who might know how to fix this problem” — doesn’t mean she’s wrong or stupid. Sometimes things are both simple and true. Look at the latest headline from USA Today:

Swing States poll: Women push Romney into lead

It’s as simple as three words: Chicks dig Mitt.


  • smitty

    Is it OK if I don’t find LL particularly attractive?

  • JeffS

    Certainly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

  • jwallin

    so, low information voters; don’t know/ don’t care == ignorant and apathetic?

  • jwallin

    I’m thinking the decision is made somewhat lower.

  • JeffS

    Well, DUH. I was just being discrete. And following the ancient formula.

  • JeffS

    More like a short attention span.

  • Bob Belvedere

    How about Kate Upton?

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    She looked better when she wasn’t so thin.

  • K-Bob

    “Whereas most people who read blogs like this are political junkies…”

    I can quit anytime.

  • K-Bob

    I know several highly motivated, driven, incredibly smart, successful businessmen, who couldn’t name any particular issue or party “platform” item. They don’t listen to the news, they don’t read political stuff.

    They focus on growing their businesses. The extra time in their lives is so rare they would never waste a minute of it by watching the news. They know things are tough all over because they have customers. But they have no idea who Romney is, really.

    They’ll probably vote for Romney because Obama hasn’t fixed whatever the hell their customers are complaining about.

    These men are far from apathetic. They are happy to remain ignorant of politics.

  • Adjoran

    It’s fine with Mrs. Smitty, and nobody else gets a vote.

  • Adjoran

    It’s amazing. I never watch O’Reilly, but had him on tonight as I had a late dinner. He had a guy interviewing people outside an Obama fundraiser in Hollywood, the one with Clooney and Katy Perry.

    None of those people could give a coherent rational reason for supporting Obama or describe a single policy of his that would make things better. The closest to an actual policy reason was some lefty who “has been fighting for universal health care for 40 years; this isn’t it, but it’s a start.”

    The rest were vague and emotional, “I like him,” “He cares,” etc.

    This included software executives and business people. Most of Obama’s support is low information voters, besides that he has the hard left and that’s it.

  • Adjoran

    I’m only reading it until I need glasses.

  • scarymatt

    He did say, “eye” not “eyes.”

  • rjacobse

    I’d be willing to bet that a LOT of these people support Obama because:
    1. “All of my friends support Obama”
    2. “All of my ‘smart’ friends support Obama”
    3. “All of my friends say that if you don’t support Obama, that’s like, racist”

  • SDN

    Of course, what some are referring to (sneeringly) as the “low-information voter” is actually what the Founding Fathers were trying to achieve: an average citizen living their lives without having to worry about the Federal government unless it was a really large issue concerning more than one state, like say war, foreign diplomacy, and related laws.

    What they emphatically did NOT intend was a country where the average citizen had to worry about getting a Federal certificate on lead content to PAINT THEIR FUCKING HOUSE.

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