Policy Preferences


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 Nate Silver studied the campaign websites of Republican and Democratic candidates
for the House in the 33 toss-up districts. He identified the key policy issues on these websites. 

He concludes that Republicans have a clearer, more consistent message. "Pick
us, and we’ll repeal health care, secure the border and reduce the size
of government." On the other side, Democrats have a vaguer platform. They've won health care reform. We're pulling out of Iraq. The candidates aren't sure what the focus for the next election should be. Silver says that the Democrats have been hampered by the broad policy goals put forth by Obama.

I'm not sure why he focused only on the toss-up elections. If he examined all candidates running for office, he would have had a bigger sample. I'm also not sure that candidate websites are the best way to analyze a candidate's platform. Politicians' websites are often bland and boring and filled with useless information. 

That said, this is still a VERY INTERESTING chart, and Silver puts forth interesting conclusions. Why are the Dems talking about Veteran Affairs more than the Republicans? Why are only 72 percent of Dems talking about jobs? Is it a good idea for Republican to make an anti-health care message so
central to their platform? (They are clearly pushing other policies, but
nearly all of them think health care is important. I'm assuming that he has coded "health care" to mean a repeal of Obama's program. I think the public has moved
on, but whatever.)

5 thoughts on “Policy Preferences

  1. Why are the Dems talking about Veteran Affairs more than the Republicans?
    Probably as the easiest way to support the troops without supporting the war.

  2. Do the Republicans really think that they can get elected by putting all their eggs in the anti-health care basket?
    You’re either misunderstanding the graph, or Silver’s analysis of it.

  3. No. I just wrote a sloppy sentence. Should have written … Is it a good idea for Republican to make an anti-health care message, so central to their platform. (They are clearly pushing other policies, but nearly all of them think it is important. I think the public has moved on, but whatever.)
    Thanks (really) for pointing this out. Got to edit quickly.

  4. Though there are exceptions, I have to say that the main Republican message on health care reform (shovel money to anybody old and nobody else) seems even worse than the Democrats in every sense except that the Republican plan might stave off insolvency for a few more months.
    Because of the bailout, I’m still going to vote for against all incumbents, which means mostly for Republicans.

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