The Other McCain

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

‘That’s Not a Poll That’s Psy-Ops!’

Posted on | May 23, 2011 | 9 Comments

So says Da Tech Guy about an Associated Press poll that surveyed nearly twice as many Democrats (35%) as Republicans (18%). You will perhaps not be surprised that this poll shows Obama with a 63% approval rating.

Speaking of “psy-ops” — psychological warfare — let me explain something: Nothing so sways the independent voter as bandwagon psychology.

Lacking any clear partisan or ideological commitment, the independent voters is likely to support whichever candidate his friends and neighbors support. This is why yard signs and bumper stickers make a difference in campaigns. Believe it or not, some voters may base their vote on whichever candidate has the most yard signs in his neighborhood.

Furthermore, independent voters like to vote for the winner. Polls showing Obama ahead will, of course, encourage Democrats and discourage Republicans. More importantly, however, such polls will sway independents toward Obama.

It is always a mistake to think of independent voters as moderates or “centrists.” It is more helpful to think of them as “low-information voters” who don’t pay much attention to politics, and whose judgments are influenced more by superficial impressions of candidates than by deeply held political beliefs.


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