Clinton, Obama, Huckabee, Oh My!


Normally I don’t get too shook up about a Presidential Election until after the Primaries. This election is different. Unlike the last election where Dean totally made a fool of himself by “screaming” after the Iowa Caucus, and Kerry just bored us all to death with his drone speeches and sad puppy dog eyes. This election is a little dicier. We have an African American whose first name sounds like a much hated enemy of the United States. Then we have a woman whose last name is much loved by many of the United States. And last but not least we have an evangelical minister who’s last name can’t help but bring a smile to the faces of many because it sounds like a much loved literature character penned by Mark Twain.

What’s in a name? This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“Name recognition is a concept used in politics to describe number of people who are aware of a politician. It is considered an important factor in elections, as candidates with low name recognition are unlikely to receive votes from people who only casually follow politics. It also considered a major obstacle for challengers hoping to defeat incumbents. The fact that they are already in office, and have usually already won an election, gives incumbents an inherent name recognition advantage over most challengers.”

The bottom line is that most of us only casually follow politics. Very few watch every debate, and search online for how the candidates stand on issues such as abortion, immigration, or taxes. We are too busy with our own lives, trying to pay the bills, living life on life’s terms, hanging on to our job, and taking care of our children, to devote that much time and energy getting to know our candidates. Most of us only know what is said on the evening news, and then it depends on what network we are watching because some are “liberal” and some are “conservative”.

What does that leave us? Their name. When we walk into that voting booth in November 2008, their name is what is going to influence our vote the most. Oh sure, we will have those snippets of negative ads and items in the news, but all we really know about our candidates is if their name gives us a warm fuzzy feeling or ….something else.

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