Voters Have A Gut Sense Of Whether Things Are Getting Better Or Worse

Paul Krugman


Greg Sargent tells us that the White House is promoting a Gerald Seib piece which summarizes the political strategy thus: A big deal would reassure independents who fear the country is out of control; position Obama as the adult who made Washington work again; allow the President to tell Dems he put entitlements on sounder financial footing; and clear the decks to enact other priorities later.[Bangs head against wall]

What I learn from political scientists is that this is all fantasy — albeit a kind of fantasy beloved of political pundits, who love to imagine that complicated psychodramas are playing out in the minds of voters. Well, here’s a little secret: most voters don’t sit around reading Clive Crook columns or debating the Bowles-Simpson plan. They have a gut sense — things are getting better or they’re getting worse — and mainly vote on that basis. They’re not paying attention at all to this stuff.

Read the rest of the article at The New York Times.

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