Why “They Can’t Win An Election” is a Terrible Reason to not Vote for a Candidate

Please excuse my politics, and don’t take this as a tacit endorsement for any particular underling candidate, (I’m still undecided though I am starting to lean.)

“Can’t win” has always seemed circular to me. How does a candidate win? If people vote for them. Who do people vote for? Whoever they think has the best chance of winning. How does a candidate have a chance to win? If people vote for them. Around and around and around.

Insert media rhetoric about who “can” or “can’t” win, add to that a dash of “You wouldn’t want to waste your vote, would you?”, and you have a nice environment set up to have gatekeepers in the political process.

If the public were generally educated, had an idea of what their personal beliefs and convocations were (rather than just going along with their bias-confirming herd), were doing actual research on candidates (rather than bottle feeding from what media outlets are telling them), and matched candidates up against their worldview, the whole question of whether they “can win” or “can’t win” becomes irrelevant.






2 responses to “Why “They Can’t Win An Election” is a Terrible Reason to not Vote for a Candidate”

  1. Brian Anderson Avatar
    Brian Anderson

    As I commented on Twitter, there is a tendency for people to vote for who they think will win. This is one of the reasons we are locked into having only two dominate parties. Interestingly there is a paper by the title of “Breaking Duverger’s Law: Sincere and Strategic Voting in U.S. Elections.” that addresses two topics of relevance here:
    1. Your vote doesn’t statistically have any relevance to who is elected.
    2. You should vote your conscious regardless of a the candidates viability.

    You can read the full paper here: https://www.portfolio.du.edu/portfolio/getportfoliofile?uid=63391

    One of the contributors, Thomas Knecht, is my brother in law ;) That is the only reason I know about any of this.

    1. Matt Heerema Avatar

      Thanks, Brian!

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