Gallup Shows Voter Misconceptions Regarding Views of the Candidates

In recent years multiple polls have showed that voters are far closer to the Democrats, including Barack Obama, on the issues when questions are asked purely based upon issues and not candidates. However, this has often failed to translate into support at the ballot box, partially because of voters not knowing the actual positions of the candidates. A Gallup poll shows that voters perceive the views of  Republican candidates to be closer to their own while they see greater differences between themselves and Obama. In other words, there are voters who agree with Obama on the issues but, due to all the right wing propaganda claiming he is a far left socialist, many voters fail to realize this.

On the one hand, this shows the success of the right wing noise machine. On the other hand, looking further into the poll, it is Republicans, as opposed to either independents or Democrats, who are most likely to see Obama as being on the far left. Republican views are so warped that they shift the overall result, while the perceptions of candidates by independents are far closer to those of Democrats. The poll found, “Obama’s mean ideology rating ends up furthest away from Americans’ own mean score because Republicans place him far to the left, with an average of 1.7, compared with 2.5 among independents and 2.8 among Democrats.”

Another example of how little voters in the poll understand the actual position of the candidates is seen with Ron Paul. Those who see other Republicans as having view similar to their views say the same of Ron Paul.  Regardless of whose views are preferable, it is clear that Ron Paul does not occupy the same portion of the political spectrum as other Republican candidates. This shows why Paul has surged in some Iowa polls, but once his views become known it is hard to see him surviving in GOP contests beyond Iowa and New Hampshire.

While it is primarily Republicans, who would not vote for Obama under any circumstance, who see his views as far different from their views, there are bound to be some swing voters who now are saying they will not vote for Obama based upon misconceptions about his ideology. At least it will be far easier to win the votes of such individuals by showing what Obama’s actual views are, as opposed to having to change people’s minds on the issues.  The Democrats have an edge if they can actually get people who agree with them on the issues to vote for Democratic candidates. The Democrats need to make it clear where they stand, as opposed to frequently allowing the right wing media to define them.



  1. 1
    Tricia L Ebey says:

    Gallup Shows Voter Misconceptions Regarding Views of the Candidates #p2 #p21 #topprog

  2. 2
    JUDI says:

    Gallup Shows Voter Misconceptions Regarding Views of the Candidates – (via @sociablesite)

  3. 3
    John Sonntag says:

    RT @ronchusid: Gallup Shows Voter Misconceptions Regarding Views of the Candidates #p2 #p21 #topprog

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