Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Voters don't seem to like any of the candidates

This is an interesting story that the NYT does so well - looking at the mood of voters in a particular region of the country. What they are saying is interesting. I include this here because the fate of so much rides on the next election -- the economy, the war in Iraq, foreign policy not to mention repairing the U.S. badly damaged image abroad.

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The domed courthouse clock tower tolls the hour, but not much else breaks the stillness in this centuries-old county seat where politics seems to have reached equilibrium, balanced between ancient Democratic traditions and newer Republican ones.

Beneath the surface peace, though, in the storefronts, diners and offices around the square, there is unease as Tuesday’s primaries approach. A prosperity that has endowed this city of 34,000 with fancy antiques stores and well-appointed personal investment offices is weakening. Unemployment in Maury County is rising as a nearby auto plant declines, unfamiliar candidates are on the ballot and all the history accumulated here over two centuries, in the middle of a politically middling state, is proving to be an unreliable guide.

In November, Democrats need to win here in this swing county in the hilly Nashville exurbia, just as they need to win in the rest of Tennessee and in its neighbor Arkansas, Southern states that have voted for the winner in the last eight presidential elections. But the choices available in the coming Democratic primary have led to disquiet among independent voters, Democratic-leaning Republicans and even some traditional Democrats, according to interviews here and across the state line in Arkansas

1 comment:

Bethany said...

I really liked the way this story was done. We hear so much from political analysts and the politicians themselves, but it was really helpful to hear opinions from voters who are never in the spotlight. I am from Kentucky and had some relatives in Tennessee, so the people in this story were very relatable to me.

Another interesting part of this story was the candidness of some of the sources about their doubts about Obama. Throughout this entire campaign season, I have not heard much overt criticism of Obama simply because of his race or of Clinton because of her sex. I admit that I am not as tuned in politically as I could be, but it always seemed curious to me that I haven't seen any widespread racist or sexist attacks. I'm definitely not saying that I miss such attacks, but that I am surprised that I haven't seen more.

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