Letters to the Editor

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GOP: Candidates bank on uninformed voters

Letter by Karin Morris, Tacoma on Aug. 31, 2012 at 11:34 am with 75 Comments »
August 31, 2012 1:19 pm

Not only do we have to listen to the outright lies during the Republican convention from speakers like Paul Ryan but then we also hear from Mitt Romney’s pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” (Eugene Robinson column, 8-31).

How arrogant!

The problem is that so many voters today get their information from sound bites and thus can easily be mislead by speeches which both sides make and which might distort the facts. Fact-checkers serve a good purpose to help us get better informed.

A well-functioning democracy needs well-informed citizens. The GOP candidates seem to bank on an uninformed populace to win the election. Why else would they so blatantly distort the facts?

Leave a comment Comments → 75
  1. Cue the uninformed wrong-wing comments in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  2. averageJose says:

    The good thing about this letter and the one before it is that I don’t have to visit looney left internet sites or other leftist media to find out what their talking points are… and it shows how desperate they are getting.

    It is the uninformed voters that put Barry in office. Do you even know what his thesis was about? His grades? How he views America? Didn’t think so…

  3. on the other hand we do know McCain was in the running to be the goat of his class.

    Do we know what Romney’s thesis was about, or what his grades were?

  4. averageJose says:

    Has anyone asked him?

  5. Avg, thanks for proving by prediction to be correct.

  6. The GOP banks upon low voter turn-out….hence the voter “fraud” efforts aimed at demographics that typically vote for the Dems.

  7. The dems bank on people voting for handouts and kickbacks.

  8. lylelaws says:

    Karin,

    If there was any to prove it I would be more than happy to bet you a Hershey bar that Republicans are much more well informed than Democrats.

  9. Fibonacci says:

    Lyle
    I would LOVE to take that bet. Most Republicans think they are “informed” because they listen to Fox news and Rush. I bet the average level of education is much higher in liberals.

  10. Obviously, fib, you’re not very “informed”:

    Survey data make clear that Republicans, on average, are better informed than Democrats about political issues. Data from the American National Election Study has confirmed this over the years, and an April 2012 Pew Research Center survey — “What the Public Knows about the Political Parties” — is the latest to document it.

    On eight of the survey’s 13 questions about politics, Republicans outperformed Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points. “Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge,” according to the study.

    The widest gap — 30 points — came on a question about which political party is “generally more supportive of reducing the size of federal government.” Seventy-six percent of Republicans, but only 46 percent of Democrats, correctly named the GOP.

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/150242335.html?refer=y

    Side bet? My money’s on Lyle.

  11. “which political party is “generally more supportive of reducing the size of federal government.”

    Why don’t you ask those thousands of federal employees who were hired by the Bush administration?

  12. beerBoy says:

    And then there are the studies that show that FOX News is the top source of misinformation.

    Perhaps FOX viewers are more informed but it appears that that information is wrong.

  13. beerBoy says:

    Looked at your link.

    Not sure how anyone can take the poll you cited, or the snarky conclusions by the opinion writer you cited, seriously.

    C’mon….with questions like which political party is “generally more supportive of reducing the size of federal government.” And who the ever demonized by FOX head of the House Democrats is? These questions sure look tailor-made by a FOX believer.

    But….if it makes you feel better.

  14. Fox News viewers know less than those who don’t watch any news at all: http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/knowless/

  15. Frankenchrist says:

    Pundits on the left:

    Paul Krugman – Nobel laureate economist
    Rachel Maddow – Rhodes scholar

    Let’s look at the other side:

    Rush Limbaugh – College drop-out
    Shawn Hannity – High school drop-out

    Who has the brainpower?

  16. SwordofPerseus says:

    Great that the GOP are better informed, too bad it’s not on who is screwing them.

  17. Clamat0 says:

    Why don’t you ask those thousands of federal employees who were hired by the Bush administration?

    Thanks for the visual on “stretching” before “deflecting”.

  18. Clamat0 says:

    And then there are the studies that show that FOX News is the top source of misinformation.

    Ditto my 8:40.

    BTW, whose “studies”? media matters, (chuckle)?

  19. Clamat0 says:

    Fox News viewers know less than those who don’t watch any news at all

    Uh-humphhh… “message, messenger”?

    You’re welcomed.

  20. Clamat0 says:

    Looked at your link.

    Not sure how anyone can take the poll you cited, or the snarky conclusions by the opinion writer you cited, seriously.

    Ditto my 8:43.

    bB, PEW research? Take it up with them – I’m sure you know more about polling than they.

  21. Clamat0 says:

    Clearly we’ve hit a libnerve here.

    Fun to watch the squirming! Thanks for opening up the boulevard of truth, Fibonacci! And to Lyle for providing the cow pie into which he so predictably stepped!

    Now go find your own study. I’m sure some reliable liberal source has performed a competely unbiased poll on the subject. You know, reliable sources such as think progress, center for american progress, huffpo, media matters, kos, msnbc, new york times, washington post, cbs, nbc, abc, cnn, current, bloomberg, AP, the dnc, etc, etc, etc, etc… ∞

  22. “Now go find your own study.”

    Already did. It’s called “What the Public Knows about the Political Parties”. You cited it yourself.

    For the intellect-challenged, the survey is what people know about the political parties, not what they know about current issues.

    I want to thank you, lyle, and the others for proving my Aug 31 3:15PM prediction to be accurate.

  23. LMAO@e.hill

    Again. Never mind the studies findings – or the language they used to explain them… you know, language like:

    Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge. The largest gaps are in awareness of which party is more supportive of reducing the size and scope of the federal government (30 points) and which party is more conservative (28 points).

    Republicans also are 21 percentage points more likely than Democrats to know that the GOP is more supportive of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    what matters is the TITLE of the study…

    Okey-dokey.

    And certainly those were not issues, LMAO!

    You really should try reading these links before stepping in it. Conservatives have something to cite – a PEW Research Center study. You and the letter writer? Talking points.

    Geez.

  24. averageJose says:

    Jr. parsing again… kooky.

  25. “Never mind the studies findings”

    You sure as hell didn’t. Here’s the actual study.
    http://www.people-press.org/2012/04/11/what-the-public-knows-about-the-political-parties/1/

    “awareness of which party is more supportive of reducing the size and scope of the federal government (30 points)”

    I can certainly understand the confusion, given that George Bush and the Republican Congress dramatically increased the size of the federal government. What the GOP says is one thing, but what they do is usually the opposite.

    Thanks for proving my point yet again.

  26. Again Clamat0 – how is it surprising that Republicans know more about the GOP than Dems do? Or know who the oft-demonized “leaders” of the Dems are? It is clear that the 20% of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans are VERY concerned with Party First.

  27. Let’s look at some of the first paragraph of the Pew study: “… a review of what Americans know about the political parties shows that the public is better informed about the partisan affiliations of two popular recent presidents – Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton – than it is about the positions of the parties on key issues that dominate the current national debate.”

    Yep, the study is really focused on the issues, isn’t it?

  28. Clamat0 says:

    bB and hill, you can continue to pretend the quote I posted @ 10:34 was not taken directly from the PEW report on their findings, and that “the size and scope of the federal government” and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” are not issues if you wish. But the statement that “Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge” is tough to ignore.

  29. beerBoy says:

    Clamat0 – never said it wasn’t from PEW. Not sure why you think that this one organization is above the fray.

  30. spotted1 says:

    What about the lady who, following Obama’s election” was on national news stating “The president is going to pay my car payment, my house payment, he is going to take care of me!” Both sides are responsible for misinformation and the people who are suckered in. Both sides use the same tactics. Why does this come as a surprise each election cycle?

  31. LeePHilI says:

    “spotted1 says:
    Sep. 2, 2012 at 6:11 am What about the lady who, following Obama’s election” was on national news stating “The president is going to pay my car payment, my house payment, he is going to take care of me!”

    Well…first of all….she didn’t say that. That is what the Right wing would like you to believe she said.

    Here is the actual quote –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI

  32. LeePHilI says:

    On the “who is smarter” discussion….

    “smarter” is not defined by knowing party rhetoric

  33. Clamat0 says:

    Thanks for the bold admission @ 8:54, Larry.

    However, the subject is who’s more “informed”. Please try to keep up.

    I suggest you go up-thread and re-read the LTE.

  34. klthompson says:

    The writer mentions “a well functioning democracy”. I might sigh and mention once again that the United States is not a democracy in spite of efforts of some to make it one. The nations representative form of government is not perfect but it sure beats the alternatives.

  35. “you can continue to pretend … that “the size and scope of the federal government” and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” are not issues”

    If you’d actually read the Pew report, you’d have seen that the questions weren’t about the issues themselves, nor were they about peoples’ understandings of the issues; they were about whether the peoples knew about the parties’ positions on the issues.

    Once again, you’ve proven my point. I know it’s difficult, but try to keep up.

  36. “whether the peoples knew” should be “whether the people knew”. Sorry.

  37. If you think last week’s convention was full of lies, just wait until the demokrats take center-stage next week. I saw the line-up of the names of the speakers to appear. What a joke! I would watch it but I’ll watch Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse,they are much more believeable. As the saying goes, you can tell when a demokrat is lying, his lips are moving.

  38. Frankenchrist, I’ll take Limbaugh and Hannity anytime over highly educated liars like Krugman and Maddow. BTW, I’m stll laughing about how O’Reilly humiliated Krugman and ran the punk off of his set. LOL

  39. frosty,

    Thanks for the great laughs! You’re doing a fantastic job of parodying the Republican wingnuts.

  40. Clamat0 says:

    If you’d actually read the Pew report…

    ROTFLMFAO!!! You slay me, really. Projectionism. Isn’t that another one of your favorite little clichés? How long did it take you to finally even follow the link? Two days?

    … you’d have seen that the questions weren’t about the issues themselves, nor were they about peoples’ understandings of the issues…

    Oh?

    If you’d actually bothered to read the report you would have seen under the heading “Democrats Less Likely to Know that GOP is More Conservative, FDR was a Democrat ” (LMAO) the following questions posed under the sub heading “Party generally more supportive of…”
    Reducing size of federal gov’t
    Oil drilling in Arctic Wildlife Refuge
    Expanding rights of gays & lesbians
    Raising taxes on higher-income people
    Restricting access to abortion
    Path to citizenship for illegal immigrants
    Reducing the defense budget
    Knowledge of who is supportive of these issues produced a net difference in correctly answered of 28% in favor of Republicans.

    So now your going to tell us that these same idiots who (1) don’t even know the positions on issues of their own party, or (2) that the party to which they claim affiliation is the liberal party (not the conservative party), or (3) that the supposed God figure of all modern liberals – FDR – was a democrat, not a Republican are supposed to be more informed that the average Republican?

    Unbelievable.

    Once again, you’ve proven my point. I know it’s difficult, but try to keep up.

    ROTFLMFAOLZXXXXX ∞

    Shameless gall, thy name has been abused by a hill.

  41. Thanks once again for proving that the questions were about the political parties, not the issues.

  42. alindasue says:

    Clamat0,

    There is a huge difference between knowing how the different parties claim to stand on issues today (or the specific day the poll was taken) and actually knowing world issues. It is the former that you are addressing in your post and not the world’s issues themselves.

  43. Clamat0 says:

    How can one know how “parties stand on issues today” without actually knowing the issues? It’s patently obvious that’s what the PEW research shows. If you cannot properly ascribe party positions on issues, how can you claim to be “informed” on the subject of these issues?

    I think you’re missing the point, allindasue – as for the hills, they’re obviously ignorant of the point.

  44. Lee P posted: “spotted1 says:
    Sep. 2, 2012 at 6:11 am What about the lady who, following Obama’s election” was on national news stating “The president is going to pay my car payment, my house payment, he is going to take care of me!”

    Well…first of all….she didn’t say that. That is what the Right wing would like you to believe she said.

    Here is the actual quote –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI
    ________________________________________________________

    LeeP here is another actual Quote that you may wish to add to your collection.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ojd13kZlCA

  45. the3rdpigshouse says:

    In Washington it is the “Ignorant & Uninformed Electorate” that stands out!!!

  46. Here’s a great example of how people can easily be confused about the GOP’s stand(s) on the issues. One of the questions was which party is generally more supportive of less government. The Republicans loudly claim to be that party, but the last time they held the White House and controlled Congress, they both ran up huge deficits and dramatically expanded the size of the federal government.

  47. What rhymes with “reflect” and begins with the letter “d”? (See SEP. 3, 2012 AT 9:07 AM.)

    So, obviously the poor ignorant democrat sampling were simply “confused”, LMAO!

  48. What rhymes with “separation” ans starts with D-E-S-P? It’s entirely the Democrats’ fault that the GOP’s actions don’t match their words.

  49. beerBoy says:

    How can one know how “parties stand on issues today” without actually knowing the issues?

    By listening to a lot of Talk Radio and watching a lot of FOX News.

  50. Clamat0 says:

    Speaking of “confused”; “separation” – “desperation”?

    LOL, look… if you want to play along, you should at least find two words that actually DO.

    How about respiration (a bit of which it appears you may be in need of right about now)?

  51. beerboy, or by watching MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, PBS and reading the Huff Puff, Media Matters , NYT, LA Times, and all the rest of the lib rags.

  52. beerBoy says:

    frosty – you, like Lyle, don’t understand humor. The punch line has to follow the set up. The set up was Clamat0 getting all excited because self-identified Republicans poll better at knowing more about what their Party says they are about than self-identified Democrats do. Thus my punch line follows the set-up while yours just demonstrates, yet again, that you are more than a little befuddled.

  53. aislander says:

    That WOULD have been mordant (if not funny), beerBoy, if the questions had been only about Republicans.

    Turns out that Republicans seem to know more about Democrats than the ‘crats know about themselves!

  54. menopaws says:

    So, explain to me how the party that believes in states rights when it comes to abortion law and voter ID has such a deep problem with Obama giving states the opportunity to create welfare to work programs with their own local employers????? Just curious—the first two issues involve denying rights—the last means giving the poor some education and training to get them off welfare………I know this because I READ….and I don’t believe everything I hear in some campaign ad…..Mr. Romney lied about the welfare issue in his ad. President Obama gave the states the same opportunity that George Bush provided them with to come up with programs with their own employers within the State to get training programs going…..CBS did a whole story about Georgia’s program………….It isn’t hard to find this stuff out…….
    Knowledge is power and fact checking is what all voters should do…………Those who are intimidated by the idea should have their voter ID checked……..Do they know how to read or research?

  55. aislander says:

    Er…perhaps because the discussion is about spending money distributed to the states by the Feds.

    And you DID notice the improvement in the lives of people due to the passage of welfare reform in the ’90s, did you not?

    Those who crafted welfare reform, Democrat and Republican, say the bill was written specifically to prevent an administration from doing exactly what the Obama regime is trying to do now…

  56. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The “OH-Bummer” regime is led by a marxist/socialist with an agenda to destroy a great nation – time to wake up from the hypnosis of undefined “Hope” and “Change” (and how is that working out for the folks?)and get on with rebuilding our nation!

  57. menopaws says:

    Okay—he is PRESIDENT Obama and I am tired of the ignorant talk about our Commander in Chief…….But, it does come from a pighouse and the pig who inhabits it…………It has worked out fine for my family–less debt, no mortgage, good investments, 401K back above where it was when the crash occurred under BUSH…..Do you remember that the banks were on the verge of FAILING???? 850.000 jobs lost in just ONE month in 2008. Sorry—I remember the way it was—-and we were on the brink of a major failure of the banking system……so, try reality for a change. Can you get money from the ATM? Let’s NOT alter history and forget just how serious that meltdown was……..Considering how little help he has had from the Republicans in Congress, we are lucky to have come back this far………They would rather tank the economy to get their power back…Real patriots there…….

  58. “I bet the average level of education is much higher in liberals.”

    Such an observation might have some merit had the universities not been taken over by the Ward Churchhills of the world.

    I have a very sweet liberal friend; we go way back. When I challenged her in 2008 about her support for Barack Obama, she told me she was very well-informed as she read the Seattle P-I every day and had for 30 years.

    “Ah” I said, “so then you are thoroughly well-versed, which is not the same as well-informed.”

    alindasue…you make a good point in your 2:13 a.m. post btw, one that I fear will be lost on many posting here. Trouble sleeping?

  59. SwordofPerseus says:

    thepig proves the LTE’s point to a tee.

    With no new idea in their heads nor a road map to follow, the Rublicons blithely plunge toward the cliff again, followed by the faithful.

  60. SwordofPerseus says:

    Clammy said; “How can one know how “parties stand on issues today” without actually knowing the issues? It’s patently obvious that’s what the PEW research shows. If you cannot properly ascribe party positions on issues, how can you claim to be “informed” on the subject of these issues?”

    This explains a lot. So according to clammy, one cannot be informed on any issue until you understand how the Republican Party stands on the issue. So all information must emanate from the Republican Party headquarters.

  61. Clamat0 says:

    This explains a lot. So according to clammy, one cannot be informed on any issue until you understand how the Republican Party stands on the issue.

    Sumone’s been taking lessons in the art of straw man fallacy from the hills.

    Or maybe “SwoPPy” can’t read (hey wasn’t that a book… and a Don Henley song?). Or maybe “SwoPPy” doesn’t comprehend well.

    Or maybe it’s all three.

    My money’s on the latter. But on the odd chance my hunch is wrong, I’m going to recommend “SwoPPy” re-read my 8:21, v-e-r-y… s-l-o-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-l-y.

  62. natomony says:

    “Thousands of federal jobs.” More like millions of “jobs.”
    Plus you have to take in account local government jobs. My property taxes nearly doubled between 2000-2008 because of the phony housing prices.

    George Bush and his Ayn Rand disciples creators of the phoniest economy of all time.

  63. tellnolies says:

    Yeah, just what the country needs, more meaningless partisan blather, that’s going to resolve the real issues we face.

    Thanks D’s & R’s! (pathetic, mindless cheerleaders)

    A Plague o BOTH your houses….

  64. beerBoy says:

    Clamat0 – It is unsurprising that self-identified Republicans are more informed about political items and what each Party SAYS they support. The GOP has been the minority view in America – the only way the Party stays competitive is with very passionate members…..and by suppressing the vote so less passionate (read: mostly Democratic-leaning) voters stay away from the polls.

  65. I believe over the years, the left has succeeded in convincing folks they are the more compassionate, more intellectual leaders. They know how to say the right things, I’ll give them that. Sleepyheadseads have been following them like puppies for some time now, but I believe(and I hope I’m right) they made a fatal error in electing Barack Obama who, despite his gift at making speeches, has proved to be the empty chair Clint Eastwood spoke to at the RNC. Bumbling as he may have appeared on stage, he made the point that needs to be made…when you hire someone who can’t do the job, you really need to let them go.

  66. Clamat0 says:

    bB, pretty sure you don’t even believe what you wrote @ 7:16.

    Again, page 3 of the survey breaks down by affiliation what self-identified Republicans and Democrats know, as well as Independents . 7 of the 17 questions in that section – nearly 50% – concern party positions on issues (I’ve posted them up-thread). Republicans correctly answered an average of 69% of them. Democrats correctly answered 64% – with glaring discrepancies on reducing the size of federal govt. (-30%) and drilling in ANWAR (-21%).

    So the obvious conclusion is that the individual who well enough understands or is familiar with issues as to be able to properly ascribe party positions on those same issues would clearly be the more informed individual. No?

    Republicans win every time.

    And I’m still wondering what happened to Fib. (Apparently he “gets it”.)

    The GOP has been the minority view in America…

    On what? Social issues? Have you checked to see how far down the priority list social issues remain with the American people? And have you forgotten this:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/152021/conservatives-remain-largest-ideological-group.aspx

    The gap between self-identified conservatives and self-identified liberals is nearly 100%!!!!! I would think that easily qualifies democrats as the minority view, and history going back 30+ years would seem to verify that fact.

    the only way the Party stays competitive is… by suppressing the vote so less passionate (read: mostly Democratic-leaning) voters stay away from the polls.

    Oh please.

    That threadbare talking point warrants no further comment.

  67. beerBoy says:

    Clamat0 – there is a big difference between knowing which Party says what and “knowing the issues”. ferinstance – the Democratic Party SAYS that it is supportive of domestic jobs and labor, blah, blah, blah but their leader still gets HUGE support from Wall St., The Republican Party SAYS that it is the Right to Life Party yet Bushco didn’t do anything to challenge Roe v. Wade when they had Republican control of the Senate and House.

  68. Clamat0 says:

    bB, that’s not even a good analogy.

    Please explain how not knowing ones own stated party’s position on a given issue does not qualify one as uninformed on said issue.

    That’s the first question. I’m only accepting correct answers because it’s the type of obvious logic that one would need to even get to 1st base.

    From there the next question, naturally, would have you explain how a group of party affiliates that correctly identifies party positions on issues more frequently than a second group of different party affiliates is not better informed than the latter.

    But if you can’t get the first question right, don’t bother with the second.

  69. aislander says:

    Wow, beerBoy: just WOW! You didn’t really post your 8:43, did you? Somebody must have hacked your account and is posting nonsense in your name.

    Roe v Wade has to be challenged in the Supreme Court, so it matters not who holds the elected branches of government.

    As for your earlier point that, since the Republicans are minority party, its members have to be more “passionate” about issues, well a new poll has the Rs as the majority party with respect to voter self-identification…

  70. alindasue says:

    aislander said, “Turns out that Republicans seem to know more about Democrats than the ‘crats know about themselves!”

    I’ve seen this kind of thing before.

    Most of you here know that I am LDS. I make no secret of it. You would be surprised how many people I’ve encountered through the years who have tried to correct me because they were absolutely certain that they knew more about what I believe than I do. It seems that in their minds they knew more about what Mormons believe than Mormons do themselves.

    Now, show me results from a knowledge poll where the questions have to with the hard facts of current events and not how people understand partisan interpretations, then maybe we’ll talk.

    Sozo,
    People in my house work swing shift, so we tend to keep weird hours.

  71. menopaws just proves what I’ve been saying about her. Her 4:46 rant about welfare clearly shows that she’s deeply invested in the welfare conversation. Speaking of voter I.D, (again), I’m wondering what she’s so concerned about? She must have I.D to cash her welfare check.

  72. aislander says:

    alindasue: You ARE on to something when you liken leftist politics to a religion…

  73. Clamat0,
    The title of a study has nothing to do with the results of the study – or as the old saw goes ‘The Devil is in the Details.’

    An in death, unbiased reading of the article indicates Republicans are better at reciting GOP talking points thus proving they are more indoctrinated and not better informed.

  74. duplicate comment? Yes! Maybe if you’ll post my first one I wouldn’t have to resubmit…

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