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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Name Names

It's a straight-forward inquiry but you should have seen them squirm.
List all the candidates running for governor?
Out on the rubber chicken circuit, the audience is asked to write down
all those names and time and time again, the bulk can't name all seven.
In fact you are probably thinking right now, could I?
With the August 3 primary inching closer, it's probably about time
that you get in the game and at least get to know the names of the
candidates. The next assignment is to find out who they are and what
do they stand for. But first things first.
At a recent conference, thirty-nine attendees were asked to list
the names. You could hear the moaning and groaning as they struggled.
And they should have been embarrassed because one of the basic precepts
of participating in the democracy is to at least know the names of
those who are running.
Ten-percent could only name one candidate and each time it was Rick
Snyder. TV advertising does have its advantages.
Six of the participants could list four of the candidates. Mike Cox
was known by all of them. Pete Hoekstra got five as did Snyder. Mike
Bouchard received four. Democrat Andy Dillon checked in with three and
his opponent Virg Bernero got one. Tom George got zero.
Oakland County Senator Mike Bishop got one but he's not running for
governor. Major points off for that.
33% turned out to be well informed as they remembered all seven
names. In most groups, the number is less.
But here's the sorry conclusion to all this: The overwhelming
majority of voters won't bother to learn the names, because the
overwhelming majority won't vote on August 3 anyway.
If the state is lucky, under one million "citizens" will show up at
the polls. That means about five million others will head for the
beach, the ballpark, or work and not even feel guilty about sitting
this one out.
If you told those folks they will lose their right to vote if they
don't use it, they'd go nuts.
It's not a bad idea.


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