Sunday, March 10, 2013

Conservatives Overestimate Voters' Support



A report from Jason Liu from Dailycal.org, "UC Berkeley Study Finds Politicians Overestimate How Conservative Constituents Are," shows us how "(a) study co-authored by a UC Berkeley researcher found that conservative politicians vastly overestimate how conservative their constituents are," something our progressive politicians in Congress and the White House should pay close attention to:

"David Brookman, a doctoral candidate in the campus department of political science, teamed up with University of Michigan political science graduate student Christopher Skovron to study the relationship between politicians’ political positions and their perception of public opinion.

"The researchers surveyed every candidate for state legislative office in the United States in 2012 and analyzed the relationship between the candidates’ positions and their views of constituents’ positions on universal health care, same-sex marriage and federal welfare programs.

"The researchers discovered that the constituents of conservative politicians supported same-sex marriage, welfare programs and universal health care by 20 percent more than the politicians themselves had estimated.



"According to campus assistant professor of political science Gabriel Lenz, the results of this study indicate an alarming trend in American governance.

“'For politicians to represent their constituencies, they need to have a sense (of) their constituents’ view,' he said in an email. 'The paper’s findings raise serious concerns about representative democracy on two of the most salient political issues.'

"He added that researchers know surprisingly little about this issue and said the study was legitimized by the broadness of its scope.

"Brookman said that the study, published Sunday, raises alarming concerns that politicians don’t seem to care much about public opinion.



“'Politicians spend so much money on their campaigns that if they thought knowing public opinion was important they could ascertain it with a pretty cheap poll,” he said in an email. 'I think the right question to ask is how to change politics such that they care about having accurate perceptions.'

"Brookman said he wanted to look into this issue because he was interested in the effect of politicians’ perceptions of public opinion on policy.

“'The effect of public opinion on public policy either needs to flow through the perceptions of sitting politicians about public opinion or through the selection of representatives that agree,' he said. 'Most existing work suggests that the former mechanism is the key one but we knew very little about those perceptions empirically (before this study).'

"Harmeet Dhillon, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, said that candidates must improve their communication with constituents to better understand what voters want.

“'Republican candidates need to be better informed about what motivates voters to go to the polls and incorporate more social media in campaigning to ensure that constituents actually do go vote,' she said. 'Ultimately, politicians need to talk to their constituents and figure what they are deeply passionate about.'



A question arises from the last sentence:  How does the study impact Democratic politicians?  The answer by omission appears to be that Democrats are "better informed about what motivates voters to go to the polls" and that they should also 'incorporate more social media in campaigning to ensure that constituents actually do go vote," and we doubt that this is always the case - especially considering the Obama 2012 campaign.

The fact that the study "...discovered that the constituents of conservative politicians supported same-sex marriage, welfare programs and universal health care by 20 percent more than the politicians themselves had estimated..." is quite meaningful to non-Conservatives in political campaigns, and many on the left have difficulties in maintaining a straight face when the Conservative leadership and their Sheeplet followers maintain support for these or any causes or beliefs.

The more important question is, "How have we let the Conservative politicians get by with the fable that there is a large segment of the voting population that is Conservative?" Fallacious memes such as "Our government was formed from Christian principles" and "Jefferson was a Republican" have no place in reality and must be repeatedly shot down on every occasion if we are to understand the menace of Conservatism.  For Conservatism to be made to appear a bona fide political philosophy instead of the vast criminal conspiracy that it really is, its lack of links to religion and the Founding Fathers must be exposed and ridiculed.

This study seems somewhat related to our post of March 5th, "Conservatives: Too Stupid To Know They're Stupid," and will be filed on this site under "conservatives_are_stupid,""authoritarian_personality," "conservative_followers," "conservative_rhetoric," "conservatives_are_stupid," "psychology_of_conservatism," and "stupidity."


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"My body's like a car: one more dent in it will matter."

Anthony Bourdain (American chef, author, and television personality. Born June 25,

1956

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