Low-Information Voters

Have you noticed the new group that has emerged in recent political discourse? They’re called “low-information voters.” By this is meant average voters who do not keep track of every issue that occupies so much of the energy of politicians, journalists, and pundits.

These people are not completely oblivious to political issues, but most of the issues are way too complex for them to analyze or understand, often purposely so. (“Obamacare” is of course the quintessential example of that.) Now, however, the President’s approval rating is falling, and that’s probably because low-information voters are waking up. But why?

The issues that resonate most strongly with low-information voters are the simplest and most straight forward ones. Typical is the price of gasoline. The average person can see the price posted at the tank, know when it goes up or down, and is aware that it affects them directly. When prices go up, they’re not happy about it.

Now we have another similarly straightforward issue, the canceling of White House tours. People know that, in the grand scheme of things, those tours can’t cost much, they consider the White House as theirs, and, especially if they had already scheduled a tour, it affects them directly. No one is praising the President for finally getting a grip on the out-of-control cost of White House tours.

The KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) is not one that serves the President well. To keep his agenda rolling, he would have to keep the issues as complicated and incomprehensible as the IRS. Speaking of the IRS, one reason a flat tax is not favored by supporters of big government is that it would simplify the tax code and make it more like gas prices. The average voter would be able to understand it.

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