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
A Democratic majority in the Senate would tie Moscow Mitch's hands.
The campaign is supposed to be the test. Unfortunately, most of the testers (voters) aren't qualified to evaluate the test results. I can't fathom voting for someone with no political experience OR RECORD for the presidency. Let them learn the ropes--and the law--while serving in minor posts. The voters, on the other hand, will vote according to their religious beliefs, their gender bias, racial bias, a candidate's appearance, or maybe some bit of propaganda they overheard at a bar or a party. As Franklin pointed out, democracy depends on an educated population, but he wasn't talking about business degrees or computer programming. He and the other Founders were well versed in history, philosophy, literature, and rhetoric, along with Enlightenment ideals that many voters today consider the fiendish lies of Satanic secular humanists. They think Trump is the reincarnation of the Persian king, Cyrus, who freed the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. Fuck them.
You have hit on a fundamental problem in our democracy. A great many of our citizens are not capable of making a sound voting decision. And since we use licenses in every profession (as far as i know) why would we omit a license to run for POTUS. Why should we permit a candidate who can't find China on a blank map? BTW Trump was not familiar with the great wall.
We would not let a know-nothing operate on a patient, conduct a murder trial, or even cut someone's hair. We have licenses to protect the public. But we have nothing to protect the entire nation from an incompetent. I know a candidate can be intelligent but devious like Nixon. On the other hand a president who is both ignorant and stupid is a recipe for trouble.
Very good points to consider there, Frankie.