Voters Like These Candidates

by dday

This nugget from the CNN exit polls is an important point:

There's no doubt Democrats are torn between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But the early exit polls show they are not bitterly divided: 72 percent of Democrats said they would be satisfied if Clinton won the party's nomination, while 71 percent say the same about Obama.

That's what I see when I talk to actual Democrats, particularly those who don't spend all their time on the Internet. Not only do Democrats like both candidates, not only do they think they are going to get to vote FOR someone instead of AGAINST the Republican this year, but the primary is improving that view. I don't think either of these two are saviors, which is why I think a movement that will hold them accountable is the most important thing (as disclosure, it is for this reason I voted for Obama today). As frightened as Democrats are about a brokered convention and hurt feelings, it should be known that these two candidates are overwhelmingly acceptable to Democrats, and a longer primary contest (which would wind up with a scant 7 or 8-month general election instead of 9), if it's played fair - and I think there's an overwhelming desire for it on both sides to keep it fair, considering how negative campaigning has generally turned out in this race - will actually put Democratic ideas in front of the electorate in very positive ways.

This is a good example of what I mean:

As voters in 24 states go to the polls today, many express a deep pessimism about America's future. A Gallup poll last month found 73% of adults were dissatisfied with the state of the nation. A recent Associated Press-Yahoo News poll reported that 44% of Americans expected no real changes in Washington, no matter who's elected.

In more than two dozen interviews on the campus here -- in a state with a hotly contested Democratic caucus -- students largely shared that gloomy outlook.

But in a paradox that intrigues analysts -- and could well shape the election -- they still feel inspired to vote.

"They do think America's going to hell in a handbasket," said Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University in Washington. "But they have some feeling of hope, some feeling of idealism."

Sophomore Dillon Fisher-Ives put it this way: "As hopeless as voting might seem, not voting is worse."

We know the country is broken and that the political system is broken. Instead of turning away, we're going to work to change it.