Ooooh Good Lord. (Emphasis mine.)
One of the most frustrating thing about the politically unaware is their unchanging belief that Something must be done! (all attempts to panic the public into agreeing that Something Must Be Done! are directed at this cohort), but they have little idea of what, specifically, should be done. Something. You know, something. Something must be done, why are you not getting this?
One thing many conservatives never acknowledge is that, ultimately, a successful candidate must agree with this cohort that Something Must Be Done. They cannot be argued out of this position; they've held it all their lives. It's not merely a belief, it's an article of faith.
It's the single thing they know about politics -- Something must be done.Then Ace takes the independent voter to the woodshed...
Now, [Frank] Luntz gets frustrated, because in his focus-groups, these sorts of people swear up and down on the Bible that they haven't made any decisions, but when you keep asking them, it becomes clear they have made decisions on almost all the factors which will produce their ultimate decision.
Like, in 2008, they might say "Obama would be better for the economy, he has better leadership skills, he's smarter than McCain, he understands ordinary people's problems better than McCain."
And then you ask, "So you're voting for Obama, then?" And they say, "Oh no, I haven't decided yet. I'm waiting for all the facts."
What facts? You think Obama is superior in every important way. What exactly are you waiting for, to admit your preference?
In other words, they have decided -- they just think it makes them seem like smarter, more informed voters to claim they're still deciding, so they won't admit that. As they're actually not very well informed voters -- and I think they know this -- this pretense becomes very important to them. They need some pretense to excuse away their complete disinterest in reading the news.
So they basically start insisting they want the candidates themselves to catch them up to speed, ignoring the fact that policies are spelled out on their campaign websites, and ignoring the fact that these positions are easily and readily discoverable, just by googling and reading.
But they don't want to do any of that, so they just keep saying they'll make their decision when a candidate "gives them the facts," which he already did (well, facts and claims and arguments and themes and spin, at least).
All of this is readily discoverable, but they just keep claiming they need someone to explain the facts to them, before they can decide
Luntz has this problem with focus groups of independents every time, and notes it every time. So I would be even more optimistic about this finding than their actual replies indicate. That said, they still insist that Something Must Be Done and you contradict them at your very great peril.
Suggestion for Romney: Do a series of three one-hour videos explaining basic economics, and your plan. Release it with much fanfare. Make sure it's pretty difficult to contradict.
Here's my thinking: This cohort you're trying to convince will not watch it. They don't follow the news, and they sure as hell aren't going to watch a three hour video on basic economic policy.
But they will hear you did this, and this might help satisfy their insistence that you "explain the facts to them."
They don't really want the facts explained to them, of course. That's already been done a million times. They just want you to take time out to personally explain the facts to them.
So do so.
Again, they ain't watchin' it, but they'll at least be aware that one candidate has done what they demand he do.
Get the people who did Ryan's videos involved. They seem to know what the hell they're doing.This is a perfect synopsis of the struggle to elect a really good candidate in this country. A HUGE portion of the voters aren't paying attention and don't have any intention of doing so. And that's just those who are easily identifiable as Independents. Add in all those in both parties who could NOT care less as they will vote party-line no matter what, and you've got yourself a fine mess.
After 140 years of compulsory education, elections in this country are decided on slogans, smears, the price of outfits, and gossip. You know, like the Senior Prom King and Queen.
Facts are for extremists. The well-intentioned don't need facts. They just need their own sweet, sweet opinions.