Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Person, Not Biography

I agree that the biographies of the candidates are much much much much less important than our political journalists would have us believe. Still, they spend a lot of time on them. And they've spent a lot of time discussing whether an African-American or a woman will have a hard time attracting votes. Meanwhile, opinion polls tell us that most people are fine with voting for people who fit those descriptions, but that people are less fine voting for an old guy, a twice-divorced guy, or a Mormon. The media coverage of these issues has been backwards relative to what the polls say. In decreasing order, people happy to vote for: black guy, chick, Mormon, twice-divorced guy, old guy. Judging by the news coverage you'd think the first three are the most troublesome for voters, when opinion polls tell us that it's actually the last two.