How to convince the unconvinced
If our recent poll on WalworthCountySunday.com is any gauge, a whole lot of presidential campaign money is being spent on a very few undecided voters.
We asked readers to tell us if they’ve made up their minds about who will get their vote for president or if they remain undecided.
It turned out only five of those who voted in the poll are undecided, or about 5 percent.
As of last week, the New York Times 2012 Money Race tracker showed Mitt Romney had raised $633 million and spent $530 million. President Obama raised $690 million and spent $615 million so far. I’m hoping the winner can keep it under $1 billion.
Talk about stimulus spending. You’d think one of our legislative leaders would propose keeping the campaign going past Election Day for fear of plunging the country back into recession after the flow of money comes to an end.
Candidates brag about the money they’ve raised, and strategists fret about losing the election if they lose the money race, but is there a point where more money won’t make any difference? I think we’re about to find out.
Most would agree that cash alone shouldn’t be the determining factor in who wins a presidential race.
In theory, it should come down to a candidate’s ideas, and how well the candidate can implement them.
That’s what we try to promote in our letters to the editor. With a little over four weeks left until the election, readers have only three more papers to submit their letters to the editor.
I think the best letters, and the ones that are the most difficult to write, are those that can convince one of those five undecided voters who they should choose.
Better yet is a letter so cogent and convincing that it would change the mind of someone who already thought they knew who they were voting for.
It’s easy to preach to the choir, and we get many letters that spout the party line, whether true or not. And this year has seen its share of hyperbole, exaggeration and outright fabrication.
This election season has seen the rise of the fact checkers, although it hasn’t seemed to influence the message makers of either party.
Typically, each candidate’s swipes at the other start with a grain of truth, but then distort their opponent’s position to a degree that has reached an all-time high -- or low.
Here are just two examples from the fact checker PolitiFact.com:
A recent Obama campaign ad says Romney’s tax plan “could take away middle-class deductions for child care, mortgages and college tuition.” However, Romney has said he would not reduce the mortgage deduction and has promised not to increase taxes on the middle class.
For his part, Romney has hammered Obama about his “you didn’t build that” statement, even though Obama was referring to infrastructure, not a business.
We’re bombarded with many more examples each day.
Comedian Lewis Black had a hilarious bit on “The Daily Show” a while back where he pointed out that the makers of the hazelnut spread Nutella were fined $3 million for making false claims about their products.
The candidates’ false claims? Not so much.
In any case, we’d always like to hear what you think.
We run nearly every letter we receive. If you think the letters skew too conservative? Send one from the left. Too liberal? Send one from the right.
Obviously, it’s an important election coming up.
In addition to the presidential race, our readers will vote for their representative to the state assembly, as well as who will go to Congress and the U.S. Senate.
Letters in by the end of the day Monday will run in the following Sunday’s paper, and the final letters related to the election need to be in by Oct. 22.
That will be your last chance to convince one of our five undecided voters.
-- We welcome issue-oriented letters and guest column submissions for publication on the Perspectives Page. Guidelines: Letters no longer than 250 words; all letters are subject to editing for spelling, grammar, length; no personal attacks or letters related to personal disputes; daytime phone number needed for verification. Guest columns should be approximately 550 to 650 words; not all guest columns will be published. Limit of one letter/column per month. Send to: Letter to the editor, P.O. Box 367, Delavan, WI, 53115. Email to email@example.com