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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It’s in the Hands of the Independent Voter

I'm going to vote for President Obama and probably most of you, being Texas Republicans, will vote for Mitt Romney, but I can't help wondering what really goes through the mind of the genuine independent voter. Don't confuse the independent voter with those that say they will choose the lesser of two evils. I've been hearing that since I was of voting age. That's just a sign of frustration because their ideal candidate was not chosen. As John McCain used to say, “it’s time for straight talk."

I'm interested in that independent voter because he or she will be the decider. what do they really think? The straight-line party voters will do what they normally do, but it's those 10% to 20% who will ultimately decide the election. We are so polarized that the election will be won by those who live in the so -called battle ground states. Today, the battle ground states are in the Midwest, north central, and Florida. It doesn't matter if 90 % of Texans vote for Mitt Romney, he will only get 34 electoral votes of the 270, he will need to get elected. Mitt Romney can forget about California and New York and there’s no way that he can win without winning Ohio. We are that predictable.

Yesterday the president again rolled out his middle- class tax cut for those making less than making less than $250,000. My Republican friends, who will never make $250,000 taxable income, tell me it's a tax increase on the job creators. They also tell me that the tax increase is an impediment which keeps small businesses from hiring. I reminded him that the President George W. Bush cut taxes two times, but the jobs didn't follow. Then they will tell me that you don't raise taxes on anyone in a recession. I quickly remind them that our greatest rates of growth were in the 1950s when the marginal tax rates were from 85% to 90%. We can argue whether those and that high bracket ever paid that amount, but they did keep more money in the business rather than pay taxes to the government. When my friends ran out of  their old talking points, which wasn't working, they pulled out the Ronald Reagan card. I agreed with them that President Reagan lowered the top marginal rate from 90% to 28%, and revenues started pouring in. I then reminded them that President Reagan raised taxes six times during that period. As the late Senator Moynihan used to say “Simply put, semantic infiltration is the process whereby we come to adopt the language of our adversaries in describing political reality. That's what frustrates me about my Democrats; the popularity of taxing the wealthy is on their side; however, they allow the Republicans to intimidate them with the "T" word. I don’t think the independents are swayed by either argument.

I suspect that the independent voter is not comfortable with the current economy and how it affects their household more than they do about Mitt Romney's vacation in the Hamptons. They're probably concerned about all the money that's being spent in this election; yet they see their problems unresolved, and they see an unwillingness to do anything besides play the blame game. Many of them saw record high temperatures throughout the nation causing millions of people to lose power, yet you won't see either party discuss climate change or our 100 year old power grid, especially now, since it has cooled down. Unfortunately, we don't hear much from the independent voter because they're working two jobs to make ends meet, worrying about whether their company will retain them with the same benefits and concerned that their children will not get the education they need. I don't think that they really care what party does what because they are more results oriented. Studies show that if a voter casts their vote in two consecutive years for the same party, they will continue that pattern. The studies also show that independents will outnumber Democrats and Republicans in future years unless the parties start doing something besides playing the blame game.

Television has made it worse;I can recite both parties talking points and give their arguments;not because I'm brilliant ;it's because politicians know they are on camera and they stay on the message of the day. American companies are having a hard time trying to advertise their products in the battle ground states because the political ads taking up all the space.  Being spontaneous is a political liability.


born2Bme said...

I'm really not fired up about this election. I know that my vote will not make a difference because Texas is a red state and I don't see that changing for this election. But, with that said I also dread the outcome because either way it goes, there will be more deadlock, more blame, more misery, just to "get even" with the other party.
We should want a mixed government, but in the last few times, that has just led to nothing at all getting done, for fear of helping the other party come election time.
Our system is broken.
America has lost her edge in fairness and it will take an act of God to restore that.

Mike said...

I can relate because I admit to being excited that after eight years of the George W. Bush administration, it was now our turn to see will we could do with the ball. Little did I know, while the Presidential inaugural ball was going on; Republican leaders were making plans on how to derail this president. They were pretty proud of being called the party of" No."

Here we are four years later without any rules to prevent the next financial crisis and are barely keeping our heads above the water but we have time to play political games like trying an repeal the healthcare law for the second time, knowing good and well, it will be defeated in the senate and there are not enough votes to override a presidential veto.

This past weekend Karl Rowe thumbed his nose at the FEC once again by soliciting money at a Mitt Romney event knowing full well that Super PACs are not supposed to coordinate with political candidates. When questioned, Karl said he was a meeting with one of Mitt's son, so that's supposed to be a loophole?

dale said...

I read your comment from the last blog. I checked your facts, and expanded upon your challenge. And my conclusion... Mark White can take credit for the downward spin in Texas public education. But, I do have a greater appreciation for his attempt to better the system.

Regarding the independent voter... you will have to convince me Romney is electible..and if so... of what good is he. Does that place me in the ranks of the independent voter?

Super Pacs, and that is the exact reason I do not give money to organizations which will then "give" to political candidates. The entire system becomes corrupted... D and R. And the real loosers are Dale and Mike and everyone in between.

Mike said...

I agree with most your points this time around.... No you're not an independent, you are in the" lesser of two evils" category..:-0... You have your party and your candidate.

Mitt Romney is electable because your party has circled the wagons in support because the main goal is supplanting President Obama.... And in the first time presidential politics the president will be outspent by his opponent... Money is an equalizer and many times it will be the deciding factor for a lesser candidate...Examples:
One of the weakest candidates of all time, Christine O'Donnell, beat former Governor Mike Castle...Harry Reid was 40 points down in Nevada but was able to retain the seat (barely) because of one of the second weakest candidates in the history of politics, Sharon Angle ran against him... They were only able to stay in the race with Tea Party (Koch) money.

Mike said...

Dale I'm bringing my response from my last blog over here so you won't miss it.

I'm not disagreeing with your recall or your reasoning but you misinterpreted my post.

I am not arguing whether Mark White instituted a good or bad educational system but you overlooked the part about the "Texas saw the desired results. SAT scores increased by twelve points, Texas first graders improved in statewide tests and teacher salaries increased by $5,000."

But be is as it may;my main point being: the Republicans had 25 years to change the policy because they certainly weren't bound by it and it's certainly not the reason we near last today....The budgets cuts in order not to raise property taxes is a one of the main reasons and the high drop out rate but again if you are going to brag about TOTAL DOMINATION you have to produce results or else it's meaningless.

Mike said...

Here is part of the problem..You have to admit you have a problem.

Dallas News October 2010

" Mark White has pounded on Perry for high student dropout rates, low SAT scores, overemphasis on testing and the state's fight over federal funds to preserve teacher jobs.
Perry has dismissed those complaints, saying schools have surged forward during his tenure and have been recognized by a handful of studies showing solid gains on achievement tests and in dropout prevention.

Results:And more recently, Perry decided that Texas would not apply for a grant under the Obama administration's Race to the Top program for school improvement.

In his latest disagreement with the federal government, Perry opted to sue the U.S. Department of Education over restrictions imposed by Congress on a program to save teacher jobs that would send $830 million to Texas. The restrictions, affecting only Texas, require the state to maintain current spending levels on education.

Last time I looked Gov. Perry was a Texas Aggie Republican..:-0

Tophat said...

For the first time in my voting career I am not going to vote in the presidential election.
Rather than pick between two evils, I pick no evil.

What if you have a presidential election and no one voted.

I can only speak for myself and a few other Republicans, not only do we not know who might win, we don't care. We lose either way.

born2Bme said...

I sit here wondering how anyone with half a brain can't figure that out, Mike.
President Obama's policies are not so much his fault, because he really couldn't get much through. He wasn't able to do anything with his hands tied like that, but R's will play on the fact that he didn't get anything done. Well DUH!!
But, when someone takes the time to really look at his "entire" record, it is really impressive what he was able to get done with all of the fighting that was going on.
The sad fact is that people inevitably vote their pocketbooks and the R's have made sure that this economy didn't improve, lest President Obama win a second term.
If he could pull out a victory this time by some small miracle, the R's, would hopefully, do what is right for this Country, get things going a little bit and then try to take credit for it for the next election.
But you are right, the independents will decide this election. Lets just hope they can see through all of the smoke.

Mike said...


I had to dig deep into my all time favorite liberal journalist Molly Ivin's archives to find an article from 2009 that might shed some light on the subject.

"Speaking of the record, there's one that needs to be set straight. On a busy news day, an important education report by Rand, the California think tank, got relatively little coverage. That's a shame, because the study confirms hopeful news about how to improve the public schools. Rand says that smaller class sizes, enrolling more children in preschool, giving teachers more classroom materials and targeting additional money for poor children pay off.

The study shows that Texas is improving fast. Our scores are still slightly below the national average (27th of the 44 states that use the national tests); but we're moving up — second in improvement on math scores, and our minority kids are outperforming others around the country.

So the governor stood up and took a bow. Excuse me...she was saying Bush stood up.

The report was based on tests between 1990 and 1996. One thing we know about education reform is that it takes 10 to 20 years before we can see any results, before we can tell whether what we've tried is working.

For the record I do no like standardized testing but smaller class sizes, enrolling more children in preschool, giving teachers more classroom materials and targeting additional money for poor children pay off is something I believe is not given enough credit for.

Mike said...

That's called a protest vote but you are much luckier than I am because my vote wouldn't count anyway, since Texas is a red state....

If no one showed up at the polls; I would think that the House of Representatives would nominate a Republican president.. That’s what will happen if they end in a tie.. I do think we'll surpass the 2008 election because of the importance of this year's election.

dale said...

"smaller class sizes, enrolling more children in preschool, giving teachers more classroom materials and targeting additional money for poor children pay off is something I believe is not given enough credit for."

dale and Mike agree

And today, there is a 100 chance for life giving rain. :)

Mike said...

Independents will always be a mystery to me. With all the 24/7 news and information that's out there; they will still be undecided until mid October.

Polls in recent years have remained steady after the second week in October because unless something drastic happens; people would have made up their minds by then.

There's always that October surprise but I think the independents have seen through the smoke because even in this bad economy President Obama has a slight lead or is tied and in all the major polls. To the chagrin of the republicans; 68% of Americans still blame Bush for this economy and Congress has a 17% approval rating... The hatred of the healthcare law and a dislike for President Obama will bring out all the republicans out the woodwork and they will be well funded... It's not going to be a cakewalk and whoever wins will do so by the skin of their teeth...

Mike said...


We need to pretend we are at Las Vegas and walk away with a winning hand...:-)

Thanks for the links;you provided something I've been wanting since I started blogging..Enough information to make an informed decision.

Mike said...

Today the GOP controlled House of Representatives will vote for the 31st time to repeal Obamacare

born2Bme said...

Talk about a waste of time!!!