American voters feeling “miserable” as the big November general election approaches should know they are not alone this year, even as political scientists studying these things are of the opinion it is a good thing.
Pollster Margie Omero is one who says American voters are feeling “miserable,” according to the VOA news article by Cindy Saine. Omero, working for Purple Strategies public research firm in Virginia, has more details on the national mood.
“People are feeling a little bit better economically, at least that hasn’t worsened, but you’ve seen economic anxiety replaced by worries about government dysfunction and international instability – ISIS or Ebola or international volatility, school violence, school shootings, crime.”
Another pollster, Neil Newhouse, is quoted in the report. Newhouse believes the national mood might well be bad news for the democrats this year.
“We’ve had now 114 straight months where Americans believe their country is headed in the wrong direction. This is the longest sustained period of pessimism that we’ve seen for like 30 years in this country.”
Way back in January this year, Mara Liasson of NPR reported that voters in America seemed to be feeling “ticked off.”
“The mood of the voters is one of the most important political factors in an election year. This year voters are anxious, frightened and angry.”
Items mentioned as being troublesome in 2016 for American voters included terrorism, immigration, political dysfunction, and the economy. Liasson quotes Professor Roberto Suro of the University of Southern California.
“One of the most illustrative things that has happened this year was in the way that Donald Trump switched from Mexicans to Muslims almost instantaneously. It was a simple pivot after San Bernardino. Terrorism and labor migration became one thing.”
Professor Suro believes that voters are angry, but not necessarily about immigration, according to the Liasson interview. Immigration is the issue, Suro believes, which “… has become a vehicle to touch people’s anxieties about a whole bunch of other matters, such as jobs, terrorism and the failure of government to perform basic functions — like policing the border.”
It seems, however, that recent U.S. election polls indicate a closer race between 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump than previously, according to some media. The Guardian‘s Mona Chalabi reports that in an “ABC/Washington Post tracking poll… (conducted October 27-30), the Democratic candidate has now slipped behind Donald Trump, on 45% to her Republican opponent’s 46%. ”
The reason for that may be the “… effect of the FBI’s decision to release new details of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server to lawmakers,” Chalabi also notes.
A recent tweet from China Xinhua News just about captures this moment in history when the writer states that American voters are in “suspense” so close to the November 8 general election.
As the candidates make their final pitches to American voters feeling nervous, angry or even anticipating a change possibility, turnout numbers are anxiously being watched by many interested parties this year. Chalabi states that this is due to the fact that Clinton and Trump, the two leading presidential candidates, are “so close in terms of unpopularity.”
Caleb Odean writes about voter emotion and political judgment over at the University of Minnesota’s website, asking an important question.
“When are citizens willing to put political party allegiances aside in order to think more deeply and even-handedly regarding salient policy issues?”
Citing the collaborative research of University of Minnesota political science professor Howard Lavine, Duke University professor Christopher D. Johnston, and University of Missouri-Kansas City professor Benjamin Woodson, it appears that “… individuals are likely to think objectively and pay more attention to the details under the discrete emotion of anxiety.”
Also stated in the short post, is another important idea.
“[W]hen people experience an internal conflict, which is what we call partisan ambivalence, it increases the extent to which people will rely on real, factual information and reduces the extent to which people rely on partisan bias.”
Considering the political options in another election year is important to our society, of course.
If any American voter is still feeling confused and conflicted, know you are definitely not alone in feeling this way, and check out an online site which might help in making the big decision before Tuesday, November 8: ProCon 2016 election website. They have designed a quiz about the big four presidential candidates and the controversial issues voters are talking about this year.
“ProCon.org fights against media bias, political advertising, bureaucrats, and corporations that try to tell you what to think. This free website helps millions of people like you get reliable nonpartisan research to empower your own informed discussions and voting decisions.”
American voters are perhaps feeling very conflicted this year, but the “partisan ambivalence” say experts may mean they are ready to rely on real, factual information for their choices this time through the election cycle.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]