Wednesday, October 17, 2012

- Understanding The "Undecided Voter"

I've been going back and forth with my brother on the reactions to the debate this AM, and while we're both optimistic in a broad sense, I think it's tough to gauge how influential the debate was last night since liberals and conservatives are persuaded by such totally different things.

Although he didn't make a buffoon of himself as Biden did, I think Obama fell for the same MSNBC bait about being 'tough', and ended up appeasing his base with his style. But his base was already voting for him. Adding more 'passion' to his argument's won't persuade them any further than they already are. And that same 'passion' makes him seem hostile, or defensive, or some generally unpleasant mix of things to any voter who wasn't already conjoined to the Obama collective.

Conservatives are generally persuaded by results and empirical evidence so they already preferred Romney's 'style'. As for the "undecided"... well, who knows what these people think. But I suspect that whatever it is, it's not the kind of "intentional unknowing" of real world facts that drives liberals.

Liberals need very little data to be liberal. They start with a preconceived notion about how the world works and anything that doesn't fit their mental model is summarily rejected without it having any effect on their world view. So adding more new information like we see in a debate, doesn't really change things for them. They already know to blame inconvenient facts on greed, or racism, or sexism or any one of the other motives that they universally attribute to their political opposition. I would even argue that the very first people to make up their minds in any election are the most liberal - because if you're a liberal, it's intellectually very easy to know where you stand.

The tactics that Obama is using won't win over liberals because they're all already won. It won't even leave them more 'charged up'. And I don't think the remaining undecided voters have that much in common with how liberals think, or they would already have decided too. It's deductive I know, but I think it's valid to think that the remaining "undecided's" can only be persuaded by substance over style. And given his abysmal record, that's approach that Obama can't touch.

I guess my point is, if you believe this theory about how the remaining undecided voters think, the second debate (and for that matter the next one) are really Romney's to win. The electoral effect of a tie, or even a minor win for Obama done in the way that his supporters are insisting on, will only benefit Romney. and this is because Romney's approach is reaching the only voters still available to be reached.

All the condescension, smirking, and 'fair share' envy solicitation that get's Obama cheers from the press gallery and his staunchest supporters, won't actually get him so much as a single new vote.

3 comments:

ikaika said...

While thge MSNBC tactic has been the new agressive obama, who did his make-up like count chocula?
He looked ashen and creepy last night. Was that eye-liner or mascara?
pair that with the shrill squeaking voice and... go figure

chess said...

GALLUP: ROMNEY OPENS SIX POINT LEAD, 51-45 Plus, Triage: Obama Pulling Out of NC, FL
Wed Oct 17 2012 11:44:31 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) · by TBBT · 11 replies
Ace of Spades HQ ^ | 10/17/2012 | Ace
But Obama is now retreating. Via The Meatball: Politico story on obama pulling from NC http://politi.co/R4uygx I'm not even going to hyperlink that. Politico can go right into my sex binder. Obama pac cancel in florida we heard about Better Romney # in CO and VA And now this from politicalwire: "Obama circling wagons in OH IA NV NH" Er... I think he's triaging.

chess said...

While BHO is circling the wagons he should look up cause those birds circling him are called vultures....give me Florida and then the great state of Pennsylvania.
Mooch is packing up china... They spent 1.4 bil on themselves in the past four years. I doubt BHO gonna make that much going forward...