Get Off Your Butt and Vote

August 17, 2012

"Semantically incorrect"
"Semantically incorrect" | Source

USA Today/Suffolk University just conducted a poll on unlikely voters. This group of people is estimated to be 90 million Americans. The likelihood of voting is shown below.

Obama vs. Romney

One of the interesting parts of the poll (and frightening parts for Obama) is the 2-1 advantage Obama has over Romney within this group of people (it is actually 2.3-1). For Obama these unlikely voters represent 38.7 million votes. That's a lot. Also, notice that the registrations of Democrat to Republican is also 2-1.

For Obama the strategy would seem pretty clear. He should forget about spending money on ads trying to convince people who to vote for. He already has the votes. Instead he should simply be trying to make sure people get out and vote. For Romney the opposite is true. He should try and make it as hard as possible to vote (which in fact the Republicans are working very hard at accomplishing).

Third Parties

Another part of the poll which stands out is the strong support amongst this group for third parties. 19.75% of the respondents would vote for one. That is 17.8 million people. That level of support could make a difference and would help to shift the political landscape of this country which people ostensibly are so fed up with. Only 32% of these people think that the two party system is adequate:

That 68% of people dissatisfied with the two parties represents over 60 million votes. If they all got together they could elect Donald Duck if they wanted to.

Does it Matter?

The following question shows that the 79% of the respondents believe the government plays a somewhat to very important role in their lives, so obviously their not voting isn't because they think the government is irrelevant.

So, maybe these are simply people who have perfectly content lives. Let's look.

Obviously not. Clearly these are people who should be very concerned about the future leadership of this country.

Informed Citizenship

Okay, this is the part that really upsets me.

39%!!!!! Are you kidding me! I'm sorry Unlikely to Vote Americans, I was having some sympathy for you because I too am dissatisfied with politics and with the two main parties and their candidates, but if you are this uninformed than you, quite simply, are not doing your jobs as citizens. This is inexcusable. If your reasons for not voting are the same as whatever reasons you have for not informing yourselves, than I just don't have much respect for that. You represent possibly the largest voting block in America. Of course your vote doesn't matter when you don't cast it. Get off your bums and do something about it!

It is interesting that later in the poll, respondents are asked how closely they follow what is going on. Here's what they say:

Personally, I think that even a "Hardly at all" should know who the Vice President is. I guess we have very different definitions about what it means to "follow what's going on in government".

Jill Stein Green Party

The 2012 candidate for the Green party is Jill Stein. Her running mate is Cheri Honkala. They are definitely worth a look. From what I have seen of Dr. Stein she is very intelligent and very well-spoken. Until know I have always found the Green Party to be a bit lacking, but I think Stein is a legitimate and interesting candidate. One of her main platforms is the New Green Deal, which would end unemployment by promoting and developing a new green economy. Check out her campaign site here. http://www.jillstein.org/

Gary Johnson Libertarian Party

Gary Johnson is the candidate for the Libertarian Party. I am not a Libertarian, so I don't know a whole lot about him, but he should at least be somewhat interesting to Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party types. He is for efficient limited government, fiscal responsibility, and personal freedom. Those ideals should be appealing to a lot of people. Like Jill Stein I think he is absolutely worth spending some time on. http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/front

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William Young profile image

William Young 4 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

People definitely need to get out and vote, no question about that, but they also need to be an informed electorate. That's pretty shocking that there are that many people running around out there who have no idea who the Vice President is. As for these third party candidates, They know that they have absolutely not a chance on the face of the earth of ever winning. I'm not saying that it's right that the only party people pay attention to is the Republicans and the Democrats, but it's a fact of life. It's just the way things are. I don't think a third party candidate will ever be elected president in my lifetime.

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