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Opinion selectors, pages, etc.
When pollsters asks voters about their issue priorities, it may not translate as politicians think.
By Curt_Anderson
October 18, 2022 9:34 am
Category: Opinion

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If a pollster asks a voter what their main issues are, they might answer the economy, crime, abortion rights in that order. They actually might be thinking their top issues are their unsatisfactory sex life, their crumby job, and the dripping faucet. In the voting booth, they may have different answers: Their voting priorities are on those issues they believe the candidate can influence.

For example, inflation and abortion don't have equal weight in voting decisions. It's easily understood by voters that Republicans would ban or restrict abortions and the Democrats would not. Inflation is a different story.

As for the economy and inflation, it is not obvious that the Republicans can do much about it if elected. The Fed independently sets monetary policy. The Republicans certainly haven't explained what they would do and why it would lower the price of gas, food, etc. We are in a period of global inflation in which Europe, Canada and elsewhere are dealing with the same inflation issues we are here. It's global economy. OPEC and Russia cutting the oil supply impacts the entire world.

As for crime, people have different ideas on what they envision. For some, it's urban crime: gang-related, drugs, etc. For others it's Uvalde and Sandy Hook Schools. So they have different ideas on how to solve crime. For some it's gun control. For others it's more militaristic police. Either way, crime as a priority doesn't necessarily indicate a person's political party preference.

It is similar for other issues such as immigration, voting integrity, etc. I might give high priority to those issues and have a completely different view on them than a MAGA Republican.

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The views and claims expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of Not every statement made here can be assumed to be a fact.
Comments on "When pollsters asks voters about their issue priorities, it may not translate as politicians think.":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on October 18, 2022 9:53 am

    As for the economy and inflation, it is not obvious that the Republicans can do much about it if elected.

    Curt. I mostly, sorta, agree but your post's malarkey, though, certainly, well-intentioned, hopeful malarkey.

    What a GOP House and Senate can do for the next two years is neutralize the progressives operating the marionette we can Joe Biden.

    I'll say again that low information moderate and independent voters vote either to approve or disapprove of what they perceive to be the direction of the country.

    I assume you go to a grocery store from to time. No doubt you pass a gas station occasionally. The economy is a mess.

    There is no reason to think that low information voters are going to vote for two more years of the same.

  2. by oldedude on October 18, 2022 11:36 am
    The question was asked, "what do you consider the main Problem in the US." not a checkbox of what do you think are issues in the US. It didn't even ask you to rate them. It asked what the is the main issue in the us. it's wouldn't allow you to put in two.

    I know dims think the world is all full of unicorns and rainbows on one side, and Trump as the only evil that anyone thinks about, but neither are true.

  3. by Curt_Anderson on November 10, 2022 11:27 am
    The election results seems to have confirmed my thesis as stated in the title of this thread. I disagreed with the pundits who offered thoughts like this:
    Economy, inflation top of mind for midterm voters, giving GOP slight edge in new Monmouth poll (First link below)

    Take the top issue that voters expressed concern about. Only one issue, abortion, gives a political party an advantage. The other issues, depending on how they are defined, don't strongly favor one party over the other.

    Abortion There is no question where the political parties stand on this issue. It's been in their party platforms for years. The Democrats are pro-choice. Republicans are "pro-life". Dobbs reminded voters of where conservatives are on that issue. Incidentally, voters clearly favored a pro-choice view in several state ballot measures. That includes red states like Kansas and Montana. (2nd link) That gives Democrats the edge.

    Crime No political party favors crime. When asked about crime, potential voters don't all have the same definition in mind. To one person it means urban street crime. To another it means January 6th insurrection. To another it means financial crimes. To another it means police abusing their authority and position. To some it means school shootings. Some voters want tighter gun controls to reduce crime which favors Democrats. Other than loudly claiming they oppose defunding the police, Republicans don't offer any ideas on reducing crime. Biden has requested billions in police funding.

    Inflation Again no party favors inflation, nor does either political party have much control over inflation. Inflation is a worldwide problem closely related to pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues and secondly the war in Ukraine. Also because people couldn't travel, go to restaurants, etc. during COVID, there is pent demand that has cause prices to increase. It's the Fed and their control of interest rates (their only tool) that has a real impact on the economy. Incidentally, the rate of inflation slowed last month causing the DJIA to jump 1000 points (3rd link).

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