The Political Science Of Voters And Their Knowledge

1064 WordsMay 2, 20165 Pages
There is still a debate within the political science community about voters and their knowledge. Manand argues that voters are not dumb but rather, they are just not smart when it comes to politics. Ambramowitz believes that low voter turnout is okay because the people who are voting are the ones who actually understand and know politics. Key believes that independent voters not knowing or understanding politics is okay because voters as a whole group will inevitable pick the correct candidate. Caplan disagrees. “The median voter wants protection. Protection makes the median voter worse off. But the median voter does not want to be worse off” (Caplan 142). Caplan believes that voters do not simply not know or understand things but rather they intentionally pick the wrong or incorrect answer. Caplan believes this is because in the political arena, unlike the rest of American society, there is no real repercussions for choosing wrong. A possible example of this is Americans choosing to believe that a terrorist attack is more fearful, and probable, than a mass shooting. According to a survey taken by Gallup conducted between December 11th and 12th of this past year, 47% of Americans were worried about an attack orchestrated by the Islamic State, compared to only 38% of Americans who were worried about a mass shooting. The 9% difference between these two possible events contrasts with the number of mass shootings in the United States in 2015 and the number of terrorist
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