On Sports & Politics – Do Voters Simply “Root for Laundry”?

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Friday loyal PLUS blog readers!

This week’s Fall Through the Cracks Friday, compliments of the Freakonomics blog looks at how voters are like sports fans – changing their opinions on the key issues based on who is in control at the time. From the post:

When pollsters ask Republicans and Democrats whether the president can do anything about high gas prices, the answers reflect the usual partisan divisions in the country. About two-thirds of Republicans say the president can do something about high gas prices, and about two-thirds of Democrats say he can’t.

But six years ago, with a Republican president in the White House, the numbers were reversed: Three-fourths of Democrats said President Bush could do something about high gas prices, while the majority of Republicans said gas prices were clearly outside the president’s control.

The flipped perceptions on gas prices isn’t an aberration, said Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan. On a range of issues, partisans seem partial to their political loyalties over the facts. When those loyalties demand changing their views of the facts, he said, partisans seem willing to throw even consistency overboard.

Seen another way, the graphic below shows the percentage of voters, by party, that view government as a threat. Note the relative consistency of the Independents line vs. the fluctuations in the Democrat and Republican lines.

While PLUS blog is politically neutral, we do encourage you to read the entire post on Freakonomics over the coming 3-day weekend.

Have a fantastic Memorial Day, and we’ll see you back here next week for a clip from the recent Medical PL Symposium on Tuesday and from yesterday’s webinar, FDIC Claims Against Directors & Officers of Failed Banks, on Thursday.

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