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There’s a reason some people can’t make up their minds


Joe Klein visited a focus group:

“Change” as a theme is over. Too vague. And Obama’s rhetoric has begun to seriously cut against him. “No more oratory,” one woman said. “Give us details.”

I always wonder about this stuff. I mean, it’s inconceivable to me that this woman is genuinely yearning to learn more about the details of Obama’s policy agenda. If she actually wanted to know, she could, you know, look into it. She could learn all about the differences between auctioning emissions permits and giving them away, about the implications of having the federal government provide reinsurance for catastrophic medical expenses, about the case for a permanent R&D tax credit, etc., etc. But all indications are that most people find politics boring, and policy details duller still. And swing voters, which is what this was a focus group of, are least interested of all.

I cite this partly because I strongly agree with the sentiment, and also because it gives me a reason to link to this article by Christopher Hayes in which he writes about his experience talking to undecided voters in Wisconsin in 2004. It’s one of the best pieces of political writing I’ve ever read, and if you haven’t seen it before, I highly recommend it. You’ll never think about “swing voters” the same way again.

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One Comment

  1. Richard Morrison says:

    In lawyer school we learn to look for (and weed out) potential jurors that can never be shown enough evidence to convict, exonerate, or find liability. These type of people are biased against your message or your client.

    Its the same with the “more specifics” crowd. Have they read his website or bought the book that has been written on his economic policy? He will never be specific enough to satisfy this type of bias.

    Fight on!