Martin Longman's caution, about how polls mislead, is sobering. He says that far more people are willing to vote for an outright crazy candidate than are willing to admit that they'll vote for him.
The Crazifaction Factor meme came from screenwriter John Rodgers' 2005 blog examining the "2004 Illinois senate race that launched Barack Hussein Obama to national prominence". Obama's opponent was Alan Keys, an out of state African-American who .... [from Rodger's blog]
.... was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
Once this post went viral, the 27% floor became known as either the “Crazification Factor” or the “Alan Keyes Constant.” Over time, it’s been remarkable to see how many different unpopular opinions bottom out at approximately 27% in surveys.
But I don’t think the number is correct for presidential campaigns. With the stakes so much higher than a mere Senate race, I think raw partisanship has more influence. So, if we ask how low Donald Trump’s approval number can go or how badly he might do in the popular vote in 2020, I think we need to project something closer to 37%. [emphasis mine]
Essentially, at least a third of us in the US, who are competent and concerned enough to register and go to the polls, will vote for visibly impaired, batshit crazy candidates.
Chauncey DeVega inteviewed Terry Heaten, former evangelical insider, giving details of how this works.
"... the Trump phenomenon ... he would never have been elected had he not been able to recruit people for whom his policies would be harmful. But many of these voters consider their faith first." No secular arguments or reason can convince white Christian Nationalists, Heaton says. They only "hear" messages in their Biblical world view. They believe God chose Trump as a tool, the way he used King Cyrus to do good. They easily dismiss anything horrible that Trump does, because he's just God's means of replacing our horrible multi-racial secular democracy with a pure glorious white-dominated Christian nation.
Even if Trump were a diagnosed psychotic who started a nuclear war, 37% would re-elect him.
image source, text based on articles
What?! "Even if Trump were a diagnosed psychotic who started a nuclear war, 37% would re-elect him." I can't believe this! I don't know if dementia or reasoning gets in my way of thinking Trump could possibly win in the next election, but we recognize he is a coward, a liar, a charlatan, and scum. URGH!!!! I want to move to New Zealand!
I think we're up against the limits of democracy in the context of today's media and the demands on citizens to grasp fast-moving large-scale changes, Joan. Remember 5% of democrats voted for Obama's opponent too. Not everybody takes politics seriously enough to think critically and be informed. Not everybody has the time or resources to really dig into the details of candidates. It's so easy to pull the big lever you parents pulled, as if the world weren't so different today.
There are experienced political advisors who think he could win. Incumbents have an edge. The GOP has big pockets, better targeted digital advertising, massive control of news media, voter suppression, outright voting machine cheating in Georgia, gerrymandering, and foreign subversives on their side. Even mainstream news is calling Bernie and AOC extreme left when they would just be called progressives in Europe. Plus, Trump still gets 24 hour round the clock free TV coverage on all networks, even the alleged progressive ones. You can't turn on the news for 5 minutes without his face in yours.
An acquaintance at the gym, who is very informed politically and knew how bad Trump was, voted for him "to teach the Democrats a lesson". <eye roll> Crazycafaction.
A "very informed politically and knew how bad Trump was, voted for him "to teach the Democrats a lesson". <eye roll> Crazycafaction."
The eye-roll fits!
He sounds like the juvenile girl getting pregnant to teach her parents a lesson!
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. – Plato
Trump counts on the left to get him elected by fools, and that is the limit of our democracy, when people become so discouraged that think why bother. So effectively, the non-involved cast votes of acceptance as they acquiesce to the powers they loath.
"...effectively, the non-involved cast votes of acceptance as they acquiesce to the powers they loath." Well put, Jon T. You remind me of this by Andrew O'Hehir,
While the official opposition party expresses grave concern about the gradual demolition of constitutional democracy — and, in fairness, some of its leading members use forceful language and demand action — it remains confused and defensive as to both strategy and tactics. At the moment, it appears committed (if that’s not far too generous a word) to relying on the machinery of constitutional democracy to defeat the assault on constitutional democracy, which is … I don’t know what it is. Stupid? Naive? Evidence of collaborator’s guilt? One struggles to find the correct metaphor: It’s something like trusting that there will be enough chickens left, a year from now, to vote the fox out of office. [emphasis mine]
Trump really can count on the Corporate Dems like Biden and Hickenlooper to get him elected by fools. With the exception of true progressives, which are branded "extreme left" by the media, such as AOC and Bernie Sanders, EVERYONE pretends politics as usual is still happening and the majority could un-elect the corrupt Corporate/Fascist/Theocratic cabal rapidly consolidating power.
I am even wondering at this point, if in fact, those sold on the idea that they still draw a wage, neo-liberals, and blue-dog democrats alike, are those chickens being plucked, hoping the foxes in the hen house will have other chickens to feed on as the foxes protect them from other chickens. And other chickens just bow to the nature of the fox, believing there is nothing left to put up a fight about. Meaning the cabal has thoroughly domesticated humans with the live stock in the process we call capitalism but is just an authoritarian group of homo-sapiens breeding an inferior primate that will become Homo-domesticus through artificial selection of wages and war.
Joan, I don't want to lose your voice and sane reaction to an insane and inane political landscape.
Jon T, I will haunt the halls of Athiest Nexus until I draw my last breath, dementia notwithstanding.
You are an inspiration.
Joan, I share your sentiments entirely. Since Trump was elected I have not been in the right world and I'm not sure we can ever go back.
37% might be a tad low. Most people aren't particularly skilled critical thinkers, and many Americans get their news only from biased conservative sources. If Trump starts a war, Fox et al will blame it on Barack Obama. Trump will spin lies, and his supporters will accept them as truth.