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'Float voters' not most important

June 29, 2008

Re "The float vote," Opinion, June 22

Frank Luntz mentions turnout in the completely erroneous context of it being high this November, and seems to obfuscate the facts concerning who votes, who does not vote and why. First of all, if turnout is higher this year, it will still most likely be around 60%. That is still very low compared with other countries. Second, it is not "swing voters" who decide our elections. Consider that millions of registered Democrats did not vote for Sen. John Kerry (or anyone else) in 2004. In 2006, polls showed that 70% of the U.S. favored withdrawal from Iraq, but turnout in the midterm congressional elections was just more than 40%. So, a little over half of those voters (less than 25% of the total electorate) voted to end the war.

The 100 million nonvoters are what we should be talking about; they can have much more of an effect on the outcome of our elections than a couple of swing voters.

Lawrence Gaughan


Luntz left out a very important contingent of "float voters" -- those who would rather write in Jesse Ventura or Willie Nelson than waste a good vote on yet another professional politician. Sometimes, enough is truly enough. I would rather vote for people who speak their hearts and act with integrity than for those who play the divide-and-conquer, tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear game of professional politics.

I would bet that if the majority of eligible voters were to register and go to the polls and vote for who they really want in office rather than vote for the lesser of two evils in a vain attempt to block the candidates they dislike, we might wake up the next morning with a whole new slant on life. For my money, write in Jesse and Willie. Couldn't be worse than what we have or what we are being offered.

Charles Fleming

El Cajon

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