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

I think I uderstand your logic: Mama and fetus get blown up on Main St., USA and the abortion clinics go out of business due to lack of demand.

101 posted on 02/28/2007 7:56:38 PM PST by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: processing please hold
"I'd open a vein before I'd vote for mcpain."

***impersonated George H.W Bush voice by Dana Carvey***
"Don't do that, it wouldn't be prudent."

102 posted on 02/28/2007 7:58:39 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: new yorker 77

I agree, people get pumped up for their "candidate of choice" but they forget just how bad the extreme alternative really is.


103 posted on 02/28/2007 7:58:44 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for a dimocrate.


104 posted on 02/28/2007 7:59:01 PM PST by ThomasThomas (I just can't say Democrat with out the ick)
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To: Barrett 50BMG

lol


105 posted on 02/28/2007 7:59:41 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
Under NO circumstances will I vote for:

Rudolph Giuliani

John McCain

Hillary Clinton

Barack Hussein Obama

106 posted on 02/28/2007 8:02:05 PM PST by Godebert
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To: Rodney King

Despite all the badgering, I will not Vote For Pedro.


107 posted on 02/28/2007 8:04:02 PM PST by word_warrior_bob (You can now see my amazing doggie and new puppy on my homepage!! Come say hello to Jake & Sonny)
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To: Barrett 50BMG
I'm sure that there is some stuff that Zell has done in the past for partisan reasons that he regrets now

No doubt........I don't think he ever did anything to hurt this country. These so called democrat's today are hurting our country. They are aiding our enemy and that is unacceptable to me.

There are a few Republican's in congress as shameful as the dems.

Hagel for one.

108 posted on 02/28/2007 8:08:49 PM PST by BARLF
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To: Rodney King
I will not vote for McLame or any RAT. Doubtful on Rudy, unless it's Rudy vs. Hillary.
109 posted on 02/28/2007 8:11:34 PM PST by I'm ALL Right! ("Tolerance" is only required of Conservatives and Christians.)
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To: new yorker 77

Hillary is a non-starter. lol


110 posted on 02/28/2007 8:20:06 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: paul51

Telling


111 posted on 02/28/2007 8:24:36 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: Rodney King
I would not vote for McQueeg

UNLESS

the opponent is Muslim named Hussein.

112 posted on 02/28/2007 8:28:02 PM PST by Brasil
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To: D-Chivas

Dont sweat it.Aint gonna happen


113 posted on 02/28/2007 8:29:28 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: Rodney King

100% no way on McCain.


114 posted on 02/28/2007 8:29:52 PM PST by rintense (Just say no to McCain in 2008!)
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To: Rodney King
Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?

Unfortunately, given what I've read of late, my answer would have to be "nearly everyone". :)

I'm hopeful that between now and the time it matters, someone will convince me they're the right conservative candidate. Duncan Hunter is closest at the moment.

115 posted on 02/28/2007 8:33:35 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg ("We live in the era of over-reaction." - Sir Alex Ferguson)
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To: Rodney King

If the candidate is not a rock solid CONSERVATIVE, i will not vote. Liberal or liberal light. Just repainting the titanic after the iceberg strike.


116 posted on 02/28/2007 8:34:03 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: BARLF

Mcpain,graham for a couple of others.


117 posted on 02/28/2007 8:36:54 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: KevinDavis

Thanks for posting that...


At least he tried to bring as much dough back for his district's and state's constituents as he could..

If this is as flawed as he gets, we could do worse.. ;-)


118 posted on 02/28/2007 8:37:27 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: Rodney King
This is really a tough one for me. The #1 "R" I don't think that I could vote for McCain. Between "The Keating Five" and McCain/Feingold CFR, I don't think that I could bring myself to vote for him.

Mark

119 posted on 02/28/2007 8:38:08 PM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: Rodney King
[.. Who Won't You Vote for in 2008? ..]

Anyone I think will NOT DECREASE the size of federal government..

I will vote for who ever WILL DECREASE the size of federal government.. even if its only rhetoric..

However Hitlery WILL BE ELECTED.. American WOMEN WANT a Socialist.. and WILL HAVE ONE.. American men are drooling, rolling their eyes, and making noises.. its disgusting..

120 posted on 02/28/2007 8:41:47 PM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Barrett 50BMG

Welcome to FR!!!!!!


121 posted on 02/28/2007 8:43:46 PM PST by napscoordinator
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To: NormsRevenge; All

But I thought "True Conservatives" don't believe in pork....


122 posted on 02/28/2007 8:45:58 PM PST by KevinDavis (“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual ways of preserving peace” – George Washington)
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To: KevinDavis

Not sure by that comment if you meant Duncan or me.

California is a defense industry state and has been for years... Pork is the other white meat , after all.

btw, Is it a sin to get all ya can? Rather, it seems to be the norm, yet only Rs get blasted for it , especially ones that are more to the right side of the spectrum,, odd some folks here seem more intent on using that against certain Rs, No?


123 posted on 02/28/2007 8:51:53 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......)
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To: Rodney King

Everybody but one!


124 posted on 02/28/2007 8:54:22 PM PST by lawdude (2006: The elections we will live to die for!)
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To: BARLF
"Hagel for one."

McCain and Lugar, the three stooges.

125 posted on 02/28/2007 9:01:11 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Rodney King
Who will I NOT vote for?

Simple, really.

I will NOT vote for any Democrat.

I WILL vote for the Republican nominee, whomever he or she may be (and however unhappy I am with my fellow Republican's primary choice.)

Furthermore, I will NOT vote for ANY third party candidate (Hillary is certain to clandestinely field a 3rd party "Perot"." I saw through Perot twice before, and I'll see through the new "Perot" third-part-spoiler (I'm betting on McCain or Tancredo).

.

126 posted on 02/28/2007 9:09:25 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: imahawk; Barrett 50BMG

Snow,Collins, and Warner.


127 posted on 02/28/2007 9:14:45 PM PST by BARLF
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To: imahawk; Barrett 50BMG

Snow,Collins, and Warner.


128 posted on 02/28/2007 9:15:13 PM PST by BARLF
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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.

If it's Giuliani I hope you won't mind when he outlaws your namesake rifle and sends a squad of BATF thugs out to confiscate it. I can guarantee you that he doesn't believe you have a right to possess a .50 caliber rifle, or a .22 short caliber either for that matter. As a gungrabber he makes Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Shmucky Shumer look like NRA life members.

That's just one reason why I will never vote for him, there are many more but don't get me started this late at night.

129 posted on 02/28/2007 9:33:15 PM PST by epow
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To: epow
If it's Giuliani I hope you won't mind when he outlaws your namesake rifle and sends a squad of BATF thugs out to confiscate it.

The president doesn't have that sort of power.

130 posted on 02/28/2007 9:38:02 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Seaplaner
Thank you Seaplaner, that does my heart good to hear that.

This war has to be won and there is no democrat/ socialist willing to do that.

Why people can't see that is something I will never understand.

This enemy is like no other we have ever faced in the history of our country.

We have troops on the ground fighting for our freedom and if they are made to retreat before victory is achieved this nation will certainly lose everything we have ever cherished.

Russia and China are waiting in the wings to see if our will can be broken in this war. Only our military strength and a United America will keep the wolves from our shores.

131 posted on 02/28/2007 9:38:04 PM PST by BARLF
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To: BARLF
We have troops on the ground fighting for our freedom and if they are made to retreat before victory is achieved this nation will certainly lose everything we have ever cherished.

Russia and China are waiting in the wings to see if our will can be broken in this war. Only our military strength and a United America will keep the wolves from our shores.

Thank YOU BARLF, for your analysis and kind words.

(From a Marine Dad.)

.

132 posted on 02/28/2007 9:44:31 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: airborne
I won't vote for Pedro.

LOL!

DON'T VOTE FOR PEDRO!

133 posted on 02/28/2007 9:49:44 PM PST by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS) "These lefties are terminally inebriated on dishonesty." The Nuge)
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To: Seaplaner

Well, Thank Your Marine for his service to our country. God Bless all our troops and President Bush.


134 posted on 02/28/2007 9:50:52 PM PST by BARLF
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To: Ladysmith

that guy really shouldn't wear tights. lol


135 posted on 02/28/2007 9:51:36 PM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Barrett 50BMG

I know! It just cracks me up! LOL!!


136 posted on 02/28/2007 9:53:23 PM PST by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS) "These lefties are terminally inebriated on dishonesty." The Nuge)
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for a statist or a gun grabber.


137 posted on 02/28/2007 10:12:00 PM PST by mysterio
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To: Rodney King

I will not under any circumstances vote for:

Clinton
McCain
Gingrich

That does not mean that I will vote for any of the rest -- just that my mind is 100% made up on the above.


138 posted on 02/28/2007 11:21:15 PM PST by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I agree! abortions are terrorism


139 posted on 02/28/2007 11:27:51 PM PST by upsdriver ((Hunter for Pres/ Ann Coulter Sec, of State))
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To: wouldntbprudent

"I will vote for the Republican nominee."

Same here, provided they nominate a republican!


140 posted on 02/28/2007 11:33:36 PM PST by upsdriver ((Hunter for Pres/ Ann Coulter Sec, of State))
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To: Rodney King
"Who Won't You Vote for in 2008?"

Me - I know myself too well...
141 posted on 02/28/2007 11:35:00 PM PST by decal (Mother Nature and Real Life are conservatives - the Progs have never figured this out.)
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To: Calpernia

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

And I will vote for anyone who likes Log Cabin Syrup, Victory Laps, and The Velvet Underground!


142 posted on 02/28/2007 11:45:41 PM PST by upsdriver ((Hunter for Pres/ Ann Coulter Sec, of State))
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To: upsdriver
I won't vote for anyone funded by Log Cabin Republicans.

Oh I will. I am a new Republican. I don't let things like principals get in my way. I vote for anything as long as they say they are Republican. I have no real conviction and my only criteria is that they are Republican. So just remember folks as long as that choice says R vote for it! Speaking of choice...

143 posted on 02/28/2007 11:52:50 PM PST by Altura Ct.
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To: Barrett 50BMG
The president doesn't have that sort of power.

Wanna bet your guns on that? He does if a Democrat Congress passes another and more onerous AWB and a gungrabbing NYC RINO president signs it. If Giuliani is elected that's exactly what will be on the federal law books before the end of his first and last term, and we will be very lucky if that's the worst of it.

Maybe that wouldn't be all bad in the long run, sometimes it takes a hard slap in the face to wake people up.

144 posted on 03/01/2007 5:18:55 AM PST by epow
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To: new yorker 77
"Principles" get you Eight years of Clinton, A plotting Bin Laden who gets a free ride to plan and kill from a Clinton, Ruth Ginsberg, Steven Breyer. How can you not be motivated to vote for Rudy? "The social issues"? Say he gets the nomination.He is running against Hillary who will with 100% certainty appoint at least two leftist judges who will sit on the bench for 25 to 30 years. How many abortions will that guarantee?

If the choice is

(a) working as a admin for a full-time abortionist,

or (b) working as an admin for a part-time abortionist/part-time OB-GYN,

or (c) being unemployed because you know all kinds of folks are only too willing to throw principles to the wind and take those jobs...

...then I choose unemployment.

145 posted on 03/01/2007 7:31:51 AM PST by Colofornian
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To: epow
I think I understand his position on guns IN NY CITY, and I sort of agree with the position, you can get them but you need to show proof of who you are and such. He needed a way to clean up the city, and it worked.

I don't mind the extra checks as long as they don't get to pesky and don't start costing an arm and a leg to acquire.

146 posted on 03/01/2007 8:19:03 AM PST by Barrett 50BMG
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To: Rodney King

You pretty much covered it.


147 posted on 03/01/2007 8:19:58 AM PST by RockinRight (When Chuck Norris goes to bed at night, he checks under the bed for Jack Bauer.)
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To: Rodney King

I won't vote for myself - I'm not going to be on the ballot. 8-)


148 posted on 03/01/2007 11:18:00 AM PST by kcbc2001 (Stop asking me who I will support in 2008. It's only March 2007!)
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To: Rodney King

Neither Hillary Obama nor Rudy McRomney will get my vote.


149 posted on 03/01/2007 4:42:38 PM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: upsdriver
Same here, provided they nominate a republican!

Those are rare birds these days, even in the Republican Party.

150 posted on 03/01/2007 6:31:29 PM PST by Celtman (It's never right to do wrong to do right.)
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