Saturday, February 25, 2012

Do "Feelings" win elections more than facts?

How Obama could win in a landslide
[...] In his book "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation," Drew Westen convincingly argues that "people vote for the candidate who elicits the right feelings, not the candidate who presents the best arguments." [...]

More about that book:

The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

[...] In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. [...]

The only thing missing is Barbara Streisand singing "Feelings...".

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