July 10, 2008

Can you place yourself in one of these 6 categories of voters?

USA Today categorizes us this way:
1. True believers: 30% of the electorate

... John McCain has some support among this group of the year's most intense voters, but Barack Obama has more. By 2-1, such voters back the Democrat.

This group includes the highest percentage of women, African Americans and liberals — the sort of voters who fueled record turnout in a string of Democratic primaries this year.
So the inflexible ideologues tend to be Democrats? Not necessarily. McCain doesn't inspire hardcore Republicans.

Anyway, I'm completely not the sort of person who would fit this category.
2. Fired up & favorable: 14% of the electorate

Like the "true believers," voters in the second group are overwhelmingly more enthusiastic than usual about voting. Unlike the first group, though, nearly all of them view McCain and Obama favorably....

They're confident in the ability of either candidate to handle the Oval Office...

That would seem to make them a swing group, but voters in this category say their minds are settled. By nearly 2-1, they support Obama.
A funny category! I almost belong here. I like both candidates, but I can't say I'm confident. And I can't say I'm "fired up" either.
3. Firmly decided: 12% of the electorate

... Although they are closely divided — 50% for McCain, 48% for Obama — few swing voters are in this group. Almost all of them say they have made up their minds about their vote.
This is like #1, but without the belief. I'd get myself into this category if it was time to vote. But it's not. So let's see what happens.
4. Up for grabs: 18% of the electorate

These voters are squarely in the middle. They tend to have favorable views of both candidates and are the most likely to say either would make a good president, but they aren't yet settled in their choice. They aren't paying as much attention to the campaign as the most engaged voters in the first two groups, but they're also not as disenchanted as those in the last two groups....

This battleground group has a GOP tilt. It includes the highest percentage of whites of any group and more of those who attend church every week. McCain needs to make major inroads with them to offset Obama's edge among other voters....
This is probably supposed to be my category. But I am paying attention! Yeah, but I'm paying attention so I can write about things, including the way the people in the other categories think. If I wasn't passionate about doing that, I'd be off paying attention to whatever else was the substance of my personal life.
5. Skeptical & downbeat: 12% of the electorate

.... They aren't excited about the contenders to succeed the president, either. Four in 10 haven't decided whom to support, by far the largest of any group, and the rest are open to changing their minds.

Voters in this group are older than average and the least likely to have a college education. It includes the highest percentage of those who live in small towns and rural areas.

They favor McCain over Obama by 11 percentage points, but can he persuade more of them to support him — and then turn out to vote?
Do these people deserve to be separated from #4 ... mainly just to insult them and impugn McCain?
6. Decided but dissatisfied: 16% of the electorate

... They include the highest percentage of conservatives and Republicans of any group, and they give Bush his highest job-approval rating, albeit still just 37%. This group is the least likely to see the Iraq war as a mistake, although 51% say that it was.

That underscores a quandary for McCain. The groups that clearly favor the Arizona senator are the two final ones. One gives Bush his highest rating, the other his lowest. One group has the fewest members who say invading Iraq was a mistake; the other has the most. Bridging that divide and building support from both groups could be a challenge, especially when it comes to calibrating how closely to embrace Bush.

National security concerns drive the "decided but dissatisfied" voters. It is the only group in which a majority favors a candidate whose strength is protecting the country from terrorism rather than fixing the economy, and the only group in which a majority doubts Obama can handle the responsibilities of commander in chief. This group is McCain's base, the only one in which his support tops 50%....

"I don't think either of these candidates are evil," McLen says of McCain and Obama, "but to use the cliché, I'm choosing the lesser of two evils."
Again, the style of categorization seems to be to make McCain voters sound bad. But in fact, I identify with this mentality. You don't believe government can really solve too many problems, but it damned well better provide security. I can't fit here though, because I'm undecided.

But why are these people so different from #1? Is it because they seem more creepily negative to USAToday?

21 comments:

blake said...

Hmmm. Rigorous scientific application of politically neutral techniques yielded this, no doubt.

reader_iam said...

Can you place yourself in one of these 6 categories of voters?

Nope, and for reasons that include a number which you cite.

EnigmatiCore said...

"5. Skeptical & downbeat: 12% of the electorate"

That's me.

"Four in 10 haven't decided whom to support, by far the largest of any group, and the rest are open to changing their minds"

Six in 10 (me included) have decided. I'm open to changing my mind, but it would take a bit for that to happen.

carly said...

I'm surprised that #6 is such a low percentage. Other than a small group of people my age (24) who are hypnotized members of the Obama cult, everyone I know falls into this category. Whether they plan to vote for Obama or McCain, they (we) all agree that this election offers a depressing choice between 2 very poor candidates. No one I know is undecided; we're all absolutely certain which candidate we'll be voting AGAINST.

Balfegor said...

6. Decided but dissatisfied: 16% of the electorate

But why are these people so different from #1? Is it because they seem more creepily negative to USAToday?

Aren't they genuinely more negative? I probably fall into this category; here's how I read the situation: We've got a choice between two narcissistic megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur. I -- at least -- am stuck choosing the one who's less Triumph of the Will. Hard to be satisfied with that kind of choice.

rcocean said...

I'm firmly decided not to vote for either Obama or McCain.

Bob Barr's got my vote.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I'm wondering why you're undecided.

Are you waiting for some sort of gaffe?

Some scandal revealed?

A major policy shift from one of them?

I mean, don't we already know everything there is to know about McCain and Obama?

What fuels your indecision?

Chip Ahoy said...

Wut? No category for these?

* tends to lie to surveyors for sport

* highly volatile decision maker

* tends to answers questions out of politeness

* completely uninformed so votes how the spouse instructs them

* votes to cancel the vote of their spouse

* completely uninformed, tosses coin.

* intends to vote but then doesn't

* thinks USA Today are a bunch of wankers

* Is concerned their dinner is going cold

* Answers differently because someone else is in the room at the time

* votes by how a person looks

* votes entirely on emotion

* vote dictated by party.

* too young or too stupid or both to understand what all the fuss is about

* suffers Alzheimer disease, lives in a nursing home, feels pride at accomplishing what the attendant asks.

* prefers to stay uninformed until the last minute, then decides

* hasn't any time for this

* thinks this is all fun

* asks their dog because considers dogs to be good judges of character

* bases their vote on what they perceive to be the opinion of citizens of other nations.

* is highly influenced my media

* waits for results of surveys like these then follows the pack

* reads surveys then reflexively behaves counter to them

* decides after eating pie

* true believer, all fired up, firmly decided, produces videos favorable to a candidate that go viral but then doesn't vote because everybody was going out and they needed a ride.

* complains about being disenfranchised, alone, and alienated by politics but then votes regularly and predictably along party lines.

* has already perished by the polls so views this as an after-life experience

* knows the popular vote equates to zero.

* considers their donation an investment and thereafter cannot be dissuaded.

* tends to hedge bets

* looks for omens on election day.

* relies on the color of their mood ring.

* can speak on the phone well but actually can't read.

* never really got the hang of English.

* votes entirely by race

* vote influenced by age of candidate

* despises being catagorized

* loves labels

This is fun.

MadisonMan said...

I'm equal parts #4 and #5. Can me a straddler. I have a wide stance.

reader_iam said...

Can me a straddler. I have a wide stance.

TMI. LOL!

Sorry, madisonman, but you never do typos, and this one was sort of funny, you must admit.

Robert Cook said...

Given Obama's recent betrayals of his supporters, his principles, his previous promises, his long-time pastor, the rule of law and the Constitution, I'll be voting for the most appetizing (or least objectionable) third party candidate on the ballot in my state. Of course, voting for the ignorant and truculent McCain was never an option.

MadisonMan said...

Fun fact about the Republicans meeting in the Twin Cities to nominate McCain: The press will walk by that restroom. So we'll get more stories about Senator Craig.

paul a'barge said...

#7. Disgusted, dissatisfied and disheartened, not to mention pissed off as all get out.

I've decided though. I wrote every one of my Republican elected representatives and told them if the price of diesel fuel was over $2.50 on election day that I would be pulling the DHIMMIcRAT lever.

And I will.

reader_iam said...

The press will walk by that restroom.

Some will even use it!

Randy said...

#7 None of the Above. Also, the leading contender for my vote, if I move to Nevada and they still offer it as an option.

Some of the responses here are just too good. Blake set the proper tone, I think. MM definitely set the proper scene.

Randy said...

Will Senator Craig be taking the floor at the convention, or is his a stance too wide for even that big tent?

Ann Althouse said...

Balfegor said..."6. Decided but dissatisfied: 16% of the electorate But why are these people so different from #1? Is it because they seem more creepily negative to USAToday?... Aren't they genuinely more negative?"

They may be negative about what govt can do, but to say govt is not the solution, govt is the problem was considered optimism when it came from Reagan.

Zachary Paul Sire said..."I'm wondering why you're undecided."

I don't love or hate either of them enough, and I don't trust anyone with the power of the Presidency. I'll vote when I have to. But I also think that it's better to blog from a distance. Some of the best blogs have gone to hell lately because they've turned from distanced writing to promoting a candidate. Plus, I've taken a vow.

"What fuels your indecision?"

It's not indecision. I am not trying to make a decision. I'm trying to write a blog.

Balfegor said...

They may be negative about what govt can do, but to say govt is not the solution, govt is the problem was considered optimism when it came from Reagan.

I think they're genuinely negative about the candidates. I'm not sure they're necessarily negative about what government can or cannot do, or about the glorious and triumphant future of the American People once the government stops putting the boot in. I think they/we still believe a lot of that. And some of us can even frame that optimistically. But these candidates don't seem like candidates who can (or want to) restore that particular brand of optimism to America.

Outis said...

I'm firmly decided that I'm so dissatisfied with both of the nominees that I will not vote for either of them. I guess that makes me a #6.

blake said...

It's not indecision. I am not trying to make a decision. I'm trying to write a blog.

And even if one were not writing a blog, it's not like extra credit is handed out for being decided in advance.

McCain could turn out to be a Manchurian (Saigonian?) candidate and Obama a suicide bomber, just to take extreme examples.

If you're not intending to actively pimp for one or the other, what's the point of making up your mind now? Worried it might take you six months?

I can't get a bead on Obama so it's hard to pick him. I can get a bead on McCain and that's actually worse. I'd normally vote Barr in this situation, but I don't agree with the Libs isolationism (at least in this case), so if I do vote for him, it'd be because I don't expect him to win.

Meh. If Althouse can make it interesting, then I'll at least get something out of the election. Besides screwed.

Revenant said...

They may be negative about what govt can do, but to say govt is not the solution, govt is the problem was considered optimism when it came from Reagan.

Ah, but the problem there is that both McCain and Obama believe the solution to our problems is more government. That's ample reason to be dissatisfied with the choices, especially considering that we're coming off 20 years of Presidents who felt the same way. There's a definite feeling of having no good choices, and settling for McCain only because Obama is so much worse.