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Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?
Reason ^ | 2/27

Posted on 02/28/2007 6:40:30 PM PST by Rodney King

Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?

Let's accentuate the negative in the presidential race.

Brian Doherty | February 27, 2007 A Gallup/USA Today poll of 1,006 Americans conducted by phone earlier this month tested exactly how intolerant American would-be presidential voters are prepared to admit to be to some stranger on the phone. While strenuously avoiding naming names by merely asking about generic characteristics a voter would never vote for, it found that Barack Obama (black, everybody's tolerant) moves forward with far more hope for success than do Hilary Clinton (woman, 11 percent say no way), Mitt Romney (Mormon, 24 percent), John McCain (great service to his country and all, but old—42 percent say no thanks), and Rudy Giuliani (two failed marriages, working on a third).

It’s amusing to take the poll at face value, but not appropriate. Note, for example, that thrice married Giuliani has 50 percent support among polled Republican primary voters one-on-one against ol’ man McCain, and a 41 percent overall approval rating. A robust 83 percent of Republicans in another poll say they’d be “comfortable” with him in charge. Yet this poll finds that 40 percent of self-identified conservatives wouldn't vote for a three-time groom, as wouldn't 30 percent of America at large.

No, this poll seems to mostly just mean that knee-jerk prejudice against Mormons, serial monogamists, and the old has better legs in 21st century America than prejudice against blacks. But there’s no particular reason to believe that prejudice would hold up in the face of further knowledge and context about the candidates in question.

Nor is it that those prejudices are easier to speak of than those against, for example, blacks. As Dave Weigel has pointed out here on Reason Online, despite popular belief, there is no hard electoral evidence that Americans harbor a deep aversion to voting for a black candidate that they won’t cop to (the so-called "Wilder Effect"). And Joe Lieberman, take note: a nation supposedly hungry for bipartisanship just might want a man who effortlessly straddles the worst of two parties. Also, don’t sweat the Jewish stuff—only 8 percent of us will refuse to vote for you for that reason.

One big indication that some of the categories in the poll did not arise from pure scientific curiosity, independent of announced candidates, is checking out the set of prejudice-testing questions Gallup has been using since 1937. As of 1967, it only included “woman/black/Catholic/Jewish/Mormon.” The thrice-married question is clearly aimed at Rudy with extreme prejudice—one wonders to whom, if anyone, are the “homosexual” (43 say no way) and “atheist” (paging Richard Dawkins: 53 percent refuse to refuse to believe) questions in the latest prejudice poll meant to refer? Hell if I know, but I bet we can count on all the non-homosexual/non-atheist candidates to make sure we we know with whom they're sleeping and to whom they pray.

While this particular poll simply isn’t to be taken seriously, the larger idea of prodding Americans on what they refuse to tolerate from a president has great promise.

Grumpuses with a sense that “running for president” constitutes sufficient reason to refuse on principle to vote for someone ought to delight in this sort of polling, silly as it might seem: think of the possibilities in magnifying and hitting home in as many voters as possible good reasons to refuse to vote for any and all of them. Given enough information, surely we can all find something to hate about every single one of them. (I hope I’m not overestimating my fellow Americans.)

I’d be curious to hear how many of my countrymen would refuse to vote for candidates based on some substantive issues. My listing of these particular items neither means that I think the number would be significant, or even ought to be significant, nor does it mean I don’t. It means that these are some things I think it would be more valuable for voters to have on their minds about candidates than age, marital status, or religion. So, would Americans vote for:

*Someone who voted to get us into a war that most Americans now see as a mistake? (Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, John McCain, Tom Tancredo, Christopher Dodd, Chuck Hagel, among the more prominent).

*Someone who intends to make a push for government-sponsored universal health care one of his main concerns? (John Edwards, who wants to create a system for everyone “similar to Medicare) or A Republican candidate who instituted an insurance purchase mandate? (Mitt Romney, who is, by the way, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)

*Someone who completely fouled up their one previous huge, national policy responsibility? (Hillary Clinton and our last brush with national health care.)

*Someone who has been a previous presidential candidate, but with a third party? (Ron Paul, 1988 Libertarian Party candidate).

*A Republican who supported public funding for abortion? (Rudy Giuliani)

*A governor who presided over general funds increases of over 23 percent—outstripping inflation and population growth by 5 percent—from 2004-06? (Bill Richardson.)

*Someone who believes and fervently acts on the belief that Americans should not be free to publicly express their opinions and feelings about presidential candidates free of complicated government interference? (John McCain.)

The point is not something as good-government sententious as “oh, why can’t the media focus on the issues instead of irrelevancies?”—though I have no doubt it would be a great thing for the Republic if people were polled and reminded constantly of, say, the answers to this list of mostly unasked policy questions Dave Weigel put together.

The point is, if you really seriously want to make your voting decision based on someone being black or Mormon or old, it’s easy to be sure you have the relevant information. In political markets, it’s very hard to get whatever you might think you are choosing by voting. We frequently have little way of knowing what actual political action we will get out of a candidate, even if we have taken the trouble to study their pronouncements and the records of their advisors—which usually isn’t worth doing given the minuscule effect any one of our individual votes have. Think of George W. “No nation building” Bush, a fiscally conservative Republican responsible for a brain-bustingly expensive expansion in public spending on medical care.

Thus, even those who might vote for John Edwards because of the universal health care scheme could very easily—indeed, very likely—end up not getting it. And no matter how much about George W. Bush we might in retrospect decide we would never have consciously voted for—hello, approval rating in the 30s—our buyer’s remorse does us little good.

Our great need to know every bad thing about politicians beforehand, when it might possibly matter, is why much maligned “negative campaigning” and “attack ads” are so important. There are lots of good reasons for Americans who want liberty, fiscal probity, integrity, or a history of sharp forethought out of their leaders to never in a million years vote for a given candidate, and we can only rely on the competitive pressures of electoral politics to bring us the delightful politics of carping, petty and major, opening up as many wounds in the other politicians as possible. When it comes to people we are contemplating granting the insane powers of the modern American state, it’s the patriotic duty of all of us—candidate, pollster, pundit, citizen—to remind everyone everywhere of every potential bad side of the candidate, from religion to gender to age to, say, actual politics.

We have another year at least to discover all the reasons why no American should ever even consider voting for the “viable candidates” out there. One of them, though, will win. And you can be sure the winner will go on to do many things that many, even most, Americans wouldn't have ever voted for. (In fact, well more than half of Americans, guaranteed, will not have voted for our next president.) But in politics, we don’t get what we choose. We get whatever the person we choose chooses to give us, whether we like it or not.

Senior Editor Brian Doherty is author of This is Burning Man and Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
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In order to keep this conversation constructive, let me get a few points out of the way:

Rudy is a RINO! No, he is a Reaganite. You 1% ers are RINOS!

The 1%ers mean nothing! The one %ers cost us the elections!

W is the greatest! W sucks!

Ron Paul is the greatest! Ron Paul is a traitor!

1 posted on 02/28/2007 6:40:32 PM PST by Rodney King
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To: Rodney King

:)


2 posted on 02/28/2007 6:42:15 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Rodney King

a demonrat


3 posted on 02/28/2007 6:42:31 PM PST by bravo whiskey (everybody's shot. drive the truck)
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To: Rodney King

Is Ross Perot considering another run?


4 posted on 02/28/2007 6:42:52 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: Rodney King
I won't vote for a Democrat.
I won't vote for a Libertarian.

I also won't vote for anyone who is soft on abortion. That issue is bigger than Terror, for me.

5 posted on 02/28/2007 6:43:32 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: Rodney King

Alan Keyes
nor
John Cox


6 posted on 02/28/2007 6:43:45 PM PST by Rex Anderson (Topeka, Kansas: Home of the Rudy-Haters)
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To: Rodney King

Will not vote for anyone with a D for party affiliation after their name. May just not vote don't know yet, election is 90 weeks away.


7 posted on 02/28/2007 6:44:12 PM PST by MNJohnnie (Cheney-Bolton 2008)
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To: operation clinton cleanup
Is Ross Perot considering another run?

Yeah, but he changed his name to rudy this time around. :-)

8 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:03 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Rodney King

No chicks (unless they clone thatcher), no libs.


9 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:16 PM PST by pissant (http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: Rodney King

Gilbert Grape.


10 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:20 PM PST by cripplecreek (Peace without victory is a temporary illusion.)
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To: operation clinton cleanup

"Is Ross Perot considering another run?"

Why not? He is a closet democrat and their plan worked perfectly in 1992!



11 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:27 PM PST by martinidon
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To: Rodney King
Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?

Any democratic candidate with the very slight possible exception of Richardson, Giuliani, Mccain, Romney

12 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:33 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Rodney King

"Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?" any democrat!


13 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:48 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Rodney King

Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?

A: Any Democrat. No Democrat for President. Obama, Hillary, Edwards are socialists bad for the US.

No Democrat for Senator. No Democrat for Governor.

No Democrat for Congress. No Democrat for mayor. NOt Democrat for dogcatcher.

I believe in God, freedom, individual responsibility, work, and this country, and I won't vote for anyone in the Democrat party that attacks all of the above.

Anyone that keeps a liberal Democrat out of office is doing a great service to the country.


14 posted on 02/28/2007 6:46:00 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: Rodney King

I will vote for whomever ends up on the Republican ticket. The nightmare of a Democrat in the White House just won't cut it.


15 posted on 02/28/2007 6:46:03 PM PST by TheLion (How about "Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement," for a change)
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To: operation clinton cleanup
Is Ross Perot considering another run?

Yeah, but he changed his name to rudy this time around. :-)

16 posted on 02/28/2007 6:46:06 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Rodney King

Let's get through the primaries, first, but I won't vote for any democrat.


17 posted on 02/28/2007 6:46:52 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (RINO = Rudy Is Not Ours!)
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To: paul51

Any (d) or Crazy John McCain. Will vote for Rudy or Romney only if necessary.
Why would you vote for Richardson? He's a Clinton Democrat.


18 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:19 PM PST by darkangel82 (Socialism is NOT an American value.)
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To: Rodney King
I will not vote for Rudy Giuliani..........issues 2nd amendment, gay marriage, pro abortion, tax cuts,lack of military service, lack of political experience at the federal level, and Clintonesque political methods in which policy is dictated by polls.

I will not vote for John McCain.......issue Gang of 14 and Feingold

Neither man has the ability , character or apptitude to unify the country.

19 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:29 PM PST by Candor7
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To: processing please hold
Sorry, my computer has done that a couple of times, must be gremlins.
20 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:34 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Rodney King

I think it's Harold Stassen's year.


21 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:38 PM PST by atomicpossum (Replies must follow approved guidelines or you will be kill-filed without appeal.)
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To: Rodney King

Who won YOU vote.... ????... ;^)


22 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:41 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore) ("We're Living In A Twilight World..."- Swingout Sister)
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To: Rodney King
Lol, more posts should have the preface you put forth in post #1. :)
23 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:53 PM PST by NYCynic
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To: processing please hold
Yeah, but he changed his name to rudy this time around. :-)

As long as he has the (R) i'll pull the lever if he gets the gets the nomination.

24 posted on 02/28/2007 6:47:54 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for Pedro.


25 posted on 02/28/2007 6:48:15 PM PST by airborne (Elect an Airborne Ranger,Vietnam Veteran for President ! Duncan Hunter 2008!!)
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To: Rodney King

I probably won't vote for anyone, especially if the GOP disappoints me again. I will most assuredly vote against someone.


26 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:11 PM PST by magslinger (Ask Dad. He'll know. And on the off chance he doesn't, he'll make up something good.)
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To: Barrett 50BMG
As long as he has the (R) i'll pull the lever if he gets the gets the nomination.

Not me.

27 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:29 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Rodney King
I will not vote for anyone who does not understand the serious danger our country is under from the Islamcists.

"Its the Iranians stupid."


Oh, and hillary.
28 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:34 PM PST by msnimje (Brian Camenker - The Right's own version of marKOS Moulitsas Zúniga of Daily Kos)
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To: Rex Anderson

I always considered Alice Cooper a tad shaky.


29 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:35 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Rodney King

Hillary

Hillary

and, Hillary


30 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:44 PM PST by popdonnelly ([Democrats] are jubilant at our disasters and are cast down when the rebels are defeated -Sept. 1862)
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To: Rodney King

I'm checking my idealogy at the door this time around. The consequences of a Democrat victory in 2008 are so frightening in terms of the future of the judiciary, the future of the Executive Branch, the future of our republic, and the future of the world that I will vote for whomever opposes the Democrat, whomever she may be.

Pee Wee Herman in 2008! (Assuming that he wins the Republican nomination)


31 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:08 PM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: Rodney King

I don't like perverts, dopers, gun grabbers, illegals or baby killers and I will not vote for anyone who does...


32 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:14 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: Rodney King

Anyone with a D after their name.


33 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:17 PM PST by Cymbaline (I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stres)
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To: Rodney King
I'm waiting for Bob Dole to throw his hat in... war hero... good sense of humor... clean personal history...

Bob we need you!

If Bob don't run.... I ain't votin'!

34 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:34 PM PST by nctexan (Top 10 Presidential Reqs. for 2008 - see my homepage)
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To: Barrett 50BMG

How did you join FR tomorrow?


35 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:38 PM PST by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Rodney King

Glad you got all that out of the way!... LOL. I thought it a really interesting article!!!!


36 posted on 02/28/2007 6:51:26 PM PST by DKNY ("You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." --Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Rodney King
Frankly, I'd have a helluva time punching the "R" on my general election ballot if McCain wins the nomination.

Thankfully the chances of my being in that predicament are infinitesimally small.

37 posted on 02/28/2007 6:51:38 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Rodney King

I will not vote for . . .

MRS BILL CLINTON

Obambi

Al Gore

et al of the Rat persuasion.


38 posted on 02/28/2007 6:51:46 PM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
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To: processing please hold

I wonder if there's a way to get a Feb. 29 signup? Maybe have to wait until next year.


39 posted on 02/28/2007 6:52:23 PM PST by jdm
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To: Rodney King

I will vote for the Republican nominee.


40 posted on 02/28/2007 6:52:27 PM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
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To: Rodney King

I'll probably vote for Rudy Guiliani in the primaries, and most definitely for whoever wins the Republican nomination in the general.


41 posted on 02/28/2007 6:52:53 PM PST by BonnieJ
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To: nctexan
I'd vote for Norm MacDonald as Bob Dole.

We need some humor at the top levels of government.

42 posted on 02/28/2007 6:53:02 PM PST by JCEccles
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for a RINO, or a democrat. If I have no choice I will just haul my redneck ass down to the creek, with a can of worms! I am tired of this shit!


43 posted on 02/28/2007 6:53:56 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (BUAIDH NO BAS, JUST SAY NO TO RINO!)
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for anyone funded by Log Cabin Republicans, Victory Funds or the Velvet Revolution.


44 posted on 02/28/2007 6:54:08 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: BonnieJ

And I won't vote for a Democrat! I guess that is the theme this time around. I do not see anyone as a RINO. Just because I disagree with them it does not eliminate them from the broad Republican party.


45 posted on 02/28/2007 6:54:16 PM PST by BonnieJ
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To: processing please hold; Barrett 50BMG
How did you join FR tomorrow?

Quick! Lotto numbers! Race results! Hup, hup! Hop to!

46 posted on 02/28/2007 6:54:53 PM PST by Enosh (†)
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To: Rodney King
Who will I NOT vote for?:

Rudy

Hillary

Obama

Angela Davis

Pat Paulsen

47 posted on 02/28/2007 6:54:59 PM PST by Clemenza (NO to Rudy in 2008! New York's Values are NOT America's Values!)
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for a liberal.


48 posted on 02/28/2007 6:56:18 PM PST by alicewonders (I like Duncan Hunter for President in 2008!)
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To: Rodney King

God help us all if John McCain is the nominee.


49 posted on 02/28/2007 6:56:25 PM PST by D-Chivas
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To: Rodney King

I will not vote for anybody advocating cut-and-run in the WOT. Period.

So, basically, it means I won't vote for Hagel, Paul, or any Democrat.

Almost any other R will get my vote.


50 posted on 02/28/2007 6:56:26 PM PST by zbigreddogz
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