View Poll Results: Which one?

Voters
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  • Ideological Purity

    6 22.22%
  • Electability

    15 55.56%
  • Other/Don't know

    6 22.22%
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Thread: Ideological Purity or Electability?

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    Ideological Purity or Electability?

    In the past few elections, Republican primary voters have nominated many candidates who appeared to be less electable than other possible choices. High profile examples of this are Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in Delaware, Ken Buck over Jane Norton in Colorado, Joe Miller over Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Sharon Angle over Danny Tarkanian in Nevada, Richard Mourdock over Dick Lugar in Indiana, and Todd Akin over Sarah Steelman in Missouri. The end result of this was five senate seats that could very well have gone to Republicans ending up in Democrat hands, with only Alaska staying Republican after Murkowski's write-in bid. Democrats have had big problems with this in the past too, but not as recently.

    For the next set of races its already looking like this could come into play again. Steve King, who is heavily considering running for senate, is being dissuaded by the Republican establishment due to his perceived unelectability. Although, if he does run, he is the favorite to win the nomination. Paul Broun in Georgia who announced he was running for Senate is also perceived as a less than electable candidate, who if nominated, could turn red Georgia into a possible Democrat pickup opportunity.

    Steve King: ‘Nobody can bully me out of running for Senate’

    Dems start out ahead in Iowa Senate election - Public Policy Polling

    My question is then if you were deciding between two candidates which trait would you value more? Electability or ideological purity? Would you choose the candidate whose ideals were closest to your own, even if that candidate would have little chance of getting elected? Or would you go with the one who does not share all of your viewpoints, although they are closer than the main competitor, and has a much better chance of being elected? In general, which do you find more important in a candidate?
    There should be Instant Runoff Voting

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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    Excellent poll and one I am going to watch with interest. I am some one most interested in results. As such I would take an electable candidate, assuming he or she still was mostly aligned with my beliefs. The only candidate who could run and 100% agree with me on every issue is probably me, so I always vote for some one less than absolutely pure.
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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    Electability and usefulness. Ideological purity is politically foolish. For the GOP, this means that the Tea Party should be used as useful idiots. The only problem is they ceased to be useful on a national scale, and should be tossed on a national scale. They should be tolerated on a local and state level, but hardly encouraged elsewhere.

    On a state level, there was a fellow that wanted to remove property taxes, and make North Dakota soar. Seeing as how I thought it was politically stupid in addition to counterproductive, I voted for the person more able to get a seat in the state GOP during the primary season (I voted with the majority). Then, seeing as how I thought the Tea Party platform was incredibly stupid for our state, with none of the political or economic turmoil of the midwest or urbanized South, I voted for the Democrat (who obviously lost).
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 02-08-13 at 05:35 AM.
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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    In my humble opinion, the poll and the supporting question are missing a few choices. It's seldom an either/or choice. Considering the last Presidential race, there should be an option for:

    "I don't vote if the person most likely to carry an agenda I very much support is a Mormon" or

    "I don't vote if the person most likely to carry an agenda I very much support says something stupid"

    A Democrat can say and do the most ridiculous, obnoxious things and be an utter fool, but liberals and Democrats will come out to vote for that person no matter what.

    There is no doubt that in at least one area Democrats are far superior to Republicans - Democrats are smart enough to understand that your agenda gets nowhere if you don't win elections. There is no power in being angry on the outside.

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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    I generally end up voting for the candidate closest to my views, but electability does play a small role, as does the opponent. I have cast many votes for candidates who didn't have a chance, and I don't consider one of them a "wasted" vote. however, when the opponent is just off the charts bad, I might pick the good option rather than the perfect one if the good option is more likely to win. it's a case by case decision.

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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    While I cringe at the words "ideological purity" I must say, as a person who has voted 3rd Party consistantly for the last few election cycles, both local and national I feel that I must vote my conscience. Doing that means I'll never cast a wasted vote.

    We're dealing with life, liberty, and property -- I give a damn who is most popular.

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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    My question is then if you were deciding between two candidates which trait would you value more? Electability or ideological purity? Would you choose the candidate whose ideals were closest to your own, even if that candidate would have little chance of getting elected? Or would you go with the one who does not share all of your viewpoints, although they are closer than the main competitor, and has a much better chance of being elected? In general, which do you find more important in a candidate?
    I'd lean toward electability unless the electable candidate held some view I just couldn't accept. For example, opposition to gun control is a deal-breaker. I'll never vote for a Republican but if the Democrat doesn't support gun control, I won't vote at all or I'll consider a third party candidate.
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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    But these are false choices, in most real-life cases. Voting your conscience does not mean always voting for someone who shares all your ideas (usually, there's no such candidate). It means choosing a lesser evil, your "ideological purity" guiding you. (Its not so much "purity", but "clarity" that you need).

    The early success of tea parties is a good example. Conservatives and libertarians had resolved to suspend their differences on social issues, immigration, etc, and push hard for electing the more fiscally conservative candidate, in each instance. Including moderates like Scott Brown or Chris Christie. Yes, in some cases the relative fiscal conservative was unelectable, but what do you have to lose, if the alternative is the status quo you "ideological purity" is rebeling against?

    When, on the other hand, the media portrays toxic loudmouths like Michelle Bachmann as "ideologically pure tea partiers", it ignores the fact that these politicians had shown no fiscal restraint or any libertarian proclivities until jumping on the tea party bandwagon, exactly to improve electability - their own. And their "ideology" is such a mess of conflicting slogans, it hardly can be considered "pure" - except, maybe, as in "pure nonsense".

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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    Can I say neither?

    I want a candidate who has ideas and a desire to do something once elected. I didn't much care for all of Ted Cruz's ideals and political philosophies, but the guy got to Washington and immediately started getting involved. Marco Rubio, same thing. Even Al Franken...as much of a joke as I think he is...he got involved.

    I'm tired of senators and reps who sit around waiting for a reason to make a statement against the other side, never putting forth anything of their own. I myself am not ideologically pure...so finding a candidate who matched my personal ideology who could also get into office? Not gonna happen. But picking somebody just 'cause they're liked by the people isn't smart, either.
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    Re: Ideological Purity or Electability?

    Electability is #1 (of the two), but not absolute. Simply being electable does not necessarily equal acceptable. There are occasions where one should vote their conscience, lest one is nothing more than a tool for results they know they won't approve.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

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