Sunday, December 05, 2004

Spread that ink

Dick Meyer attacks the perception that George W Bush won the presidential elections because of “moral values”. In an article in The Washington Post, he says that “moral values” are “a bit of a Rorschach test”. It means different things to different people, and it is simplistic to say that opposition to gay marriage or late-term abortion won Bush the elections.

The notion of “moral values” being the deciding factor in the election came because of the exit polls, where 22% of the voters cited it as the most important factor in the elections, and 80% of them voted for Bush. But Meyer says that the exit-poll questionnaire itself was flawed. He writes:

If the national exit poll had been worded differently, moral values would not have been the top issue and this argument wouldn't be happening.

If, for example, one of the choices on the exit poll list combined "terrorism" [19%] and "Iraq," [15%] it probably would have been the top concern and nobody would be talking about moral values.

If economy/jobs [20%] and taxes were one item instead of two, it might have been the winner. Who knows what the exit poll would have found if "truth in government" were an option. Or "character."

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