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last timestamped: 00:23:54 03-Nov-2004
in categories:Other/Politik

1 Comment

I'd like to post a response here, to your link to the Slate article stating that exit polls found that 4% of undecided voters chose Ralph Nader, implying that Nader unfairly "took" the undecided vote away from Kerry. That implication is disingenuous. First of all, the exit polls were widely off the mark in predicting who would win the election. The data could not accurately describe actual voting behavior, let alone voter intention. Second: Many pre-election polls determined that Nader took more would-be Bush supporters than would-be Kerry supporters. At the very least, it is hard to know whether Kerry was hurt, or helped, by Nader. Third: Undecided voters were either enamored of both major candidates, or they were dissatisfied with both. I happened to have fallen into the latter category, and so, like many others, I faced the time-honored zugzweig dilemma--I was forced to make a decision that would be disadvantageous to me. In other words, I was forced to choose a lesser evil. If it was this "zugzweig" scenario that voters were facing, (which I think it was), then their behavior is easily explainable. They realized, after seeing all the ticketed presidential candidates, that they weren't required to vote for one of two lesser-evils (Nader's least-bad mantra). They refused to compromise, and voted for the guy they thought would do the best job. And so they were not committing such an egregious horror after all.

posted by schutz

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