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Topic: Let's head back to tennessee Jed

  1. #1

    Let's head back to tennessee Jed

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    But Tennesseans not all that issue savvy
    Despite the impression the above findings might give, a close look at five domestic agenda items suggests that Tennesseans as a group hardly qualify as well-informed, ideologically consistent policy wonks. For example, only about half of Tennessee adults can accurately name Kerry as the candidate who supports rescinding the recent federal income tax cuts for people earning over $200,000 a year. About a quarter (23%) incorrectly attributed the proposal to Bush, and 27% admit they don’t know which candidate supports the measure. Similarly, only about half (50%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who favors giving parents tax-funded vouchers to help pay private or religious school tuition. Thirteen percent attribute the plan to Kerry, who actually opposes it. Over a third (37%) admit they don’t know.
    Knowledge levels are even lower on the other three issues. Well under half (42%) are aware that Bush wants to let younger workers put some of their Social Security withholdings into their own personal retirement accounts. Nineteen percent incorrectly think Kerry supports the measure, and 40% say they don’t know one way or the other. Just over a quarter (28%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who supports giving needy people tax breaks that would help buy health insurance from private companies. Thirty percent inaccurately name Kerry as the measure’s proponent, and 41% admit not knowing. Finally, just 39% know that Kerry advocates requiring plants and factories to add new pollution control equipment when they make upgrades. Fifteen percent wrongly attribute the policy to Bush, and 45% don’t know.
    Many favor positions inconsistent with their candidate
    Asked for their own opinions on these same issues – with no clues given in the question regarding which candidates support which position – many Tennesseans express views contrary to those of the candidate they say they support. Only 54% of self-described Kerry partisans, for example, express support for Kerry’s plan to retain the recent income tax cuts only for individuals earning less than $200,000 a year. And about a third (32%) of Bush partisans say they like the idea, even though Bush opposes it. In a mirror image of that pattern, just about half (50%) of those backing Bush support Bush’s plan for providing tax breaks to help needy people buy health insurance from private companies. And about a third (31%) of Kerry backers support the idea, even though Kerry favors an alternative strategy that would let more people qualify for government-funded insurance programs like Medicaid.
    On vouchers, 52% of Bush supporters agree with Bush’s stance, and so did 31% of Kerry supporters. Fifty-eight percent of Bush partisans favored Bush’s Social Security plan, but so did 38% of Kerry backers.And 80 percent of Kerry backers, along with 71 percent of Bush backers, say they favor Kerry’s plans for requiring factories and plans to install new pollution control equipment when upgrading.
    Overall, in fact, Tennesseans averaged only two right answers when quizzed about which candidate held which view on the five issues. A fifth (20%) got no right answers, and 19% got one answer right. Another fifth (20%) got two right answers, and still another fifth (20%) got three right answers. Only 13% got four right answers, and a mere 8% got all of the answers right. An analysis looking across the preferences expressed by respondent to these five issues found that only 6% gave unfailingly Democratic answers, and just 2% gave all Republican answers. At least on these issues, most Tennesseans cluster around an ideologically neutral center and, on average, venture no more than a net of two answers in the direction of being either consistently Democratic or consistently Republican.
    Nevertheless, Tennesseans profess a high degree of interest in the campaign, with 71% describing themselves as “very interested,” and 23% as “somewhat interested.” Only 6% say they are “not at all interested.” Although high across the board, expressed interest is positively related to age, education, and income. Over a third (39%) say they watched the presidential debates at “every single opportunity.” Another 22% say they watched “most of the time,” and about a quarter (24%) say they watched “only some of the time.” Just 16% say they never watched.

    And who's to blame for this confusion? Alot of people, but it would only take any news program 5 minutes to sort this out.

  2. #2

    Re: Let's head back to tennessee Jed

    "Rich man step on my poor head
    When you get up you better butter my bread ..."

    - Truely sad - OH I HOPE - there is some legislation (after Kerry wins) - to reform the way media can report on the election - in this case - screw free speech - PEOPLE NEED THE FACTS - If only canidates would create 'public service announcements' that actually outline their stance - rather than the mud fights.

    - Something has to change with big media - otherwise - i have a feeling that by 2012 (one month and 19 days before the world ends, thus predictd by the Mayans and Terrence McKenna) - our election will be a 2 month reality tv show and viewers phone in their canidate choice. Swimsuit competitions and skeet shooting contest ... OH BOY ...

  3. #3

    Re: Let's head back to tennessee Jed

    Part of the problem may be that the Kerry team has given up on the South, so there's been no effort to campaign or disseminate information here.

    But, yes, the situation is strange. I'm not sure what percentage of the population reads the newspapers here (I understand that readership is down across the country), and those who do read the papers may not see major news, since the papers (and the local television news) tend to focus on local news and sports, and bury national and international news. I sometimes suspect that if a major US city were to explode, the papers would put it below the scores for the local high school football teams.

    The problem may be partly that many Southerrn cities have only one newspaper: Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, I think, New Orleans, and Atlanta all have one newspaper that even without competition has to fight to get readers. (The Atlanta paper is a combination of two older papers, one conservative, one progressive, though.) Most of these papers seem desperate for readers: They give a lot of space to local sports, and they have "Faith and Values" sections on Sundays that often present biblical stories as fact, and take up more space than their international news and book sections.

    All of the newspapers and local television stations have been owned by the same people for decades, except for CNN, which has of course changed ownership and is much less likely to rock boats, and the one new major outlet that is popular here: Fox. When I speak to people about the bias in Fox, they often reply that there are two networks with opposing views, and name CNN as the opposite of Fox...The terrifying thing is that they're right--even after Turner lost control of the network, CNN is about as close to an opponent as Fox has.

    Or is all of this limited to the South? There seems to be a drought of concern everywhere. I'm still furious about two things that everyone in the national news seems to have forgotten:

    Bush was warned that there were plans to use aircraft as bombs, and did nothing whatsoever. (An alert to the FAA would have been a natural response?) He stayed on his ranch for almost a month after learning this news. He allowed the attacks on DC and New York to take place.

    And the other somehow forgotten horror: Bush has spent much of his presidency on vacation at his ranch. During a period in which he says the country has been in grave danger.

    Why on earth hasn't Kerry refreshed people's memories about these things?

  4. #4

    Re: Let's head back to tennessee Jed

    (But Nashville's a great town in terms of music: Go visit your friends there and get them to take you around.)

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