The Two Electorates & The Media
Last week I wrote about the theory of the two electorates. One point I was trying to make is that media coverage of politics is so often wrong because those in the informed electorate assume that the vast majority knows more than they do.
An article in Monday’s New York Times about how Rudy Giuliani has dropped in the polls is a good example of the media refusing to understand this.
From The Times:Mr. Giuliani’s position has changed notably from even a month ago. For much of this year, Republicans had expressed admiration, and some surprise, at the extent to which he appeared to have dealt with concerns about his views on abortion and gay rights, as well as his private life. Mr. Giuliani showed significant leads in most national polls; he routinely drew warm and enthusiastic receptions from audiences more conservative than he. His advisers say that a recent run of negative news reports, focusing on an extramarital affair and his association with Bernard Kerik, the disgraced former police commissioner that Mr. Giuliani recommended as homeland security secretary, is beginning to take a toll. “I am a little disappointed with his personal life,” said Elisabeth Ackerson, speaking about Mr. Giuliani after attending a Town Hall meeting for Mr. Romney on Saturday evening in Londonderry, N.H. She said was trying to decide among Mr. Romney, Mr. McCain and Mr. Giuliani.
The key word above is appeared! It appeared to the pundits & campaign workers that abortion, gay rights, Bernie Kerik and the issues in his private life were private life were not hurting Rudy because they knew all about this stuff and they assumed to voters did too.
If my theory is correct, the vast majority of voters, even those who vote in the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary like Ms, Ackerson, did not know or think much about Rudy (or any of the other candidate’s) positions or background until now – when they actually will have to make a real decision and vote.
Also if my theory is correct, it’s still too early to write off Rudy and designate anybody else as the new favorite. Just as it too until now for the Iowa & New Hampshire voters to really pay attention, the voters in the other states still haven’t to begun to think seriously about who to support!
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