Saturday, January 28, 2023

USA: Doubts about the candidates influenced some votes

ATLANTA ( Associated Press) — Casting his ballot this month in one of the most politically competitive states in the United States, Seung Lee wholeheartedly supported the re-election of Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. But when it came to the other leading Republican on the ticket, Senate candidate Herschel Walker, he was skeptical.

Walker “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said Lee, who tests the software in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta. Ultimately, he endorsed Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is currently in office.

He was one of hundreds of thousands of voters across the United States who split their votes this year in key races for governors and seats in Congress.

Voters who decide to split their votes or oppose their party outright could help Democrats do better than expected in the midterms. This year’s Associated Press Votecast, a comprehensive poll of voters, highlights how voters were selective in their decisions despite today’s increasingly polarized political climate, often rewarding candidates who are viewed as centrist Although they appeared to be very radical.

In Georgia, Kemp won more than 200,000 votes over former football star Walker, who faced difficulties during his campaign, including exaggerations about his business background, allegations of violence against his first wife, and two ex-girlfriends. The charges included who paid. their abortions. The dismal number of votes forced him to seek a runoff against Warnock.

Although 7 out of 10 Georgia voters who voted for Kemp said they supported him enthusiastically, according to VoteCast, only half of those who voted for fellow Republican Walker said the same. Among Walker’s supporters, nearly 4 in 10 supported him with reservations, and nearly 1 in 10 said they did so to oppose other candidates.

That dynamic was more pronounced elsewhere.

In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro won the race for governor by a larger margin than John Fetterman in the Senate race, with nearly 280,000 more votes. Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, faced voters’ concerns about his health in a close race with prominent Republican surgeon Mehmet Oz.

Votecasts showed that 8% of voters in Pennsylvania split their votes on the ballots. Of voters who identify as Republican, 9% chose to vote for Democrat Fetterman, and even more—18%—voted for Shapiro.

The fact that some voters in these elections split their ballots is particularly notable given that this has been less apparent in recent cycles “as voters have become more polarized and partisan,” in Residence for Political Affairs. Senior Fellow G. Terry Madonna of the Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

The votecast shows that those who voted for Oz and Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano were less enthusiastic than those who voted for Fetterman and Shapiro.

The number of people who voted for Shapiro was higher than those who voted for Democrat Fetterman. Still, while many voters are concerned about Fetterman’s health, votecasts show that Pennsylvania voters were somewhat more concerned about Oz’s knowledge of the state.

Nearly 4 in 10 of those who voted for Republican Mastriano said they supported him with reservations, and nearly 1 in 10 supported him for opposing other candidates. Overall, nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters were concerned that Mastriano, who chartered buses for people to attend a pre-storm rally at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is “too extreme” for his views. Only 4 out of 10 said the same about Shapiro.

Madonna of Millersville University said, “Mastriano had a base among (former President Donald) Trump’s most loyal supporters, which is why he got the nomination, but he couldn’t expand that base.” “Even establishment Republicans shied away from him.” Madonna indicated that many were willing to do so given Shapiro’s more moderate positions on certain issues, including fracking.

In Wisconsin and Michigan, incumbent Democratic governors outperformed Republican rivals who were endorsed by Trump and echoed his disapproval of the 2020 election outcome.

63% of people who voted for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, but only 47% of Republican Tim Mitchell’s supporters said they enthusiastically supported their candidate. About the same number of voters who voted for Mitchell said they supported him with reservations. In contrast, in the US Senate race, 54% of those who voted for Republican Ron Johnson, who is currently in office and who emerged victorious, said they were enthusiastic about him.

Charles Franklin, director of polls at Marquette Law School in Wisconsin, said Mitchell was a weak candidate, having “some drugs”. And in the Senate race, while Johnson won re-election over Democrat Mandela Barnes, the margin was narrower than his victory in 2016 or 2010.

“I think there’s a strong argument here that the Democratic advantage in voter turnout pushed the governor’s race up a little over two points compared to four years ago, and in the process made the Senate race even closer. One-point margin in favor of Johnson,” said Franklin.

In Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was endorsed more enthusiastically than her Republican opponent, Tudor Dixon. More people were concerned that Dixon was “too extreme” in his political views than about Whitmer, 62% versus 46%. About 1 in 10 Republican voters supported a Democrat.

Arizona stands out from the rest in its levels of excitement about the result. Democrat Katie Hobbs defeated Republican Kari Lake in the race for governor, despite Lake voters being more enthusiastic about the former TV host.

Of those who supported Hobbs, 46% said they supported him enthusiastically, compared to 56% who favored Lake. 41% of Hobbs’ voters supported him with reservations, while 12% voted for him to reject the other candidates.

Lake, who more than once gave (the late Sen. John) McCain’s “Republicans” a sneak peek that they weren’t welcome in their coalition, may have discouraged more moderate members of the party.

As in other states, Arizona voters were more likely to worry that Lake’s political views were “too extreme” than Hobbs, 59% to 51%. Eleven percent of voters who identified as Republican supported Democrat Hobbs, including 25% of Republicans who said they were moderate or moderate.

“I think what you are seeing is a strange coalition has developed…we call it the pro-democracy coalition,” said Reed Gallen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a Republican group opposed to Trump. “a combination of Democrats, independents, and Republicans who decide to support the Democratic candidate because he is the person they find most accessible.”

“But we shouldn’t underestimate how many of these encounters were close,” he said. “We therefore recognize that in these cases the figures do not always reflect reality.”

Nation World News Desk
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