Most voters fall into the following categories:
-1 Party Voters: They vote party lines and pretty much agree with their entire agenda. On the left it's abortion, health care, Green energy, and homosexual rights. On the right it is lower taxes, national security, free-market Social Security, educational competition and pro-life.
Not too long ago I received a survey from the RNC. I couldn't believe it when it simply asked if I agreed with this policy or that stance. YES or NO, those were the only choices. I was mad they didn't ask me what I thought about anything, or how important each issue is.
I bothers me that folks pull the party lever without ever knowing anything about most of the candidates in it.
-2 Marketed Voters: This group relies on political advertising, and regards a 30 second ad as factual. Even worse are the ones that vote for a lesser office, and don't know the candidates. They pick because a nae sounds familiar, or they've just heard it often enough. This is very likely to happen in local elections where the city council members don't get much media play. Honestly, I don't know if I am glad these folks vote.
-3 Pundit Voters: These folks rely on entertainers such as Bill O'Rielly and Keith Olberman. They are split between Fox News and "everybody else." The ones that watch PBS only see the clip of O'Rielly shouting down Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. On ABC you'll get the footage of Whoopi Goldberg and Joyce Behar walking out on the same during the View.
Many will never see the actual debates O'Rielly had with President Elect Obama or the lunatics from PETA. It's all about opinions, and the ones that may give a voice to things that we are feeling.
-4 Issues Voters: These are the voters that pick a few issues and choose a candidate that best represents their views. It can be positive. For instance I overheard a gal talking at work. In MA we have a ballot question on whether or not to repeal the sales tax on booze. She said that following: "I like alcohol, and I am voting for candidate x because he supports this initiative."
It happens a lot with social issues: abortion, Don't Ask Don't Tell, stem-cell research from fetal stem cells, DOMA, and the death penalty to name a few. There are other issues that have been in the forefront of issue driven voting: Global Warming, Green Energy, Cap & Trade, the War in Afghanistan, welfare, education and health care.
-5 The Informed Voter: These are the folks that get their news from multiple sources, watch the debates between candidates, and check out things like Congressional Voting records! Here's a link to see what you got for your votes that last few times around (Search by ZIP Code).
Voting records and position summaries are an easy way to see how your elected officials have measured up.
Here is where the rubber meets the road in my book. What bills that were not televised on CNN or Fox, did your representatives, governors and state legislative officials vote for? What are their stances on social and economic policies? HERE they are!
And be sure to Google:
So tell me, what kind of voter are you? If you are not an informed voter, do me a favor and stay home - or at least vote for my favored candidates.
Next Tuesday I will tell you how I voted and why.