It turns out that Americans are smarter than either the Democrats or the Republicans give them credit for being.
According to a poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 40% of American voters look at Governor Romney and President Obama, and when asked which they prefer, say ‘no.’ To express that in political pollster speak, 40% of the voters polled say that they are “not too or not at all satisfied” with the choice of candidates in this presidential election. Yet a third way to put it is that 40% of the electorate is saying ‘none of the above.’
That’s a lot of voter dissatisfaction out there in the hustings. What it means is that even though 54% of those polled said that they were “very or fairly satisfied” with their choices, that huge 40% who don’t like either one of them assures that neither man can win the election with majority support from the whole electorate.
Whoever wins, he will walk out of the election with a majority of the people dissatisfied with him from day one. What that means is that the next President needs to do something that presidents don’t bother with anymore. He needs to work to gain the trust and support of the people he intends to govern.
Contrast these numbers with 2008 when 72% of the voters polled said they were happy with the choices they had. Numbers like that give the winner of an election a much easier time of governing.
So, what happened? Why so glum, Mr, Ms and Mrs Voter?
My guess is that President Obama has attacked the basic values of such a large part of the electorate that he’s turned off a considerable number of people who voted for him in 2008. Meanwhile, Governor Romney dissed almost half the people of this country with his infamous 47% speech.
Also, the country suffers from the inevitable ennui of unending campaigns. The Republicans began campaigning against President Obama before he even took the oath of office after his election in 2008. I’ve heard talk about who will be running in 2016 already, and we haven’t voted in this election. Yammering at the people of this country about 2016 right now is a little bit like asking a woman in labor when she’s going to have her next baby.
The people doing this appear to be so focused on winning that they don’t have any sense. Anyone who is talking about the 2016 campaign at this time has become so obsessed with winning elections that they’re starting to look mental.
All this would be amusing if it was a horse race instead of presidential campaign. If we could just cool Romney and Obama down and then take them off to their stalls to rest up after the race was over, it would just be good fun. However, that is not true. First we have the election. Then, whoever wins has to govern this country. As I said in an entirely different context in an earlier post, the scary part of a political campaign comes after the election.