Saturday, October 30, 2004

What Kills Undecided Voters?

Pretty much the same things that kill anybody. 

The three leading causes of death (with the actual number of deaths, in 2002, in parentheses) in the United States are: Heart Disease (696,947), Cancer (557,271, Stroke (162,672).  Those three disease processes kill 58% of the population, or stated more precisely, 58% of the population in the USA will die from one of those three things.  [Reference: CDC report summary / full report(1.3Mb PDF.)]

Earlier tonight, my wife and I had a political discussion.  She contended that neither candidate is speaking to the undecided voter.  All they are talking about right now is Iraq and terrorism, if you ignore meaningless jibes about Massachusetts Liberals or More of the Same, which are essentially name-calling.  The undecided voters are not going to decide based upon those factors, because they've already heard it all.  If those issues have not convinced them by now, they aren't going to ever. 

So what might influence the undecided voters? 

Try looking at it this way: Why are Iraq and terrorism important?  Because war kills people, and terrorism kills people.  But not very many.  In fact, as causes of death, those two aren't even in the top 10.  Perhaps what the undecided voter needs to hear, is how the candidates can increase the life expectancy of the typical citizen of the United States of America. 

Iraq and terrorism are not  security issues.  They are pride issues.  The reason war and terrorism seem like catastrophes is not that they kill a lot of people, it's that they hurt our pride.  Some people care about that a lot.  Fine.  Let them vote for whomever will make them proud.  Me, I'm voting for the person who will prolong my life expectancy.  Perhaps that line of reasoning will have an impact on the undecided voters.