Mackinem speaks on the art of winning elections

Apr 05, 2018
MCOM 304 mackinem

Dr. Mitchell Mackinem

Voter motivation is very important in a political campaign, associate professor of sociology Mitchell B. Mackinem said in a news conference on March 29.

Mackinem said there are different types of voters to which campaigns can pander. Some can be persuaded while others are set in their ways.

“Politics is one of those areas where beliefs are deep," he said.

This is something Mackinem calls belief persistence, where one group will always vote a certain way no matter what. It is futile to try and persuade them otherwise.

Single-issue voters, he explained, are concerned about just one particular issue. For President Donald Trump, the one issue was abortion, with those focused on that issue seeing him as the choice to end legalized abortion.

Another key issue for Trump was the bad economic state, which left many people angry. “Angry voters went to Trump.”

Voters who are more susceptible to persuasion are the swing voters, Mackinem said. Trump was able to garner these votes and won in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Indiana.

But a major ploy the Trump campaign used was voter suppression, Mackinem said. “It’s all about getting people not to vote.”

He said scare tactics, like the threat of arrest at the polls if one owed child support, and campaigns to make people apathetic to the elections are devices of voter suppression.

In regard to Trump’s re-election, Mackinem said he does not think the president of the United States will win a second term. He also predicted hard times for the GOP in the November midterm elections.

“Bad things are going to happen to the Republican Party in November,” he said.

For the Democrats, Mackinem predicted they will get stronger either in the Senate or House of Representatives, or both.


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