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How Voters Think

A very plausible article by David Brooks on how voters arrive at their decisions:

People in my line of work try to answer certain questions. Why did Hillary surge after misting up in New Hampshire? Why have primary victories produced no momentum for the victors? Why did John McCain win among Republicans who oppose the Iraq war in both New Hampshire and Michigan, but lose among voters who support it?
The truth is that many of the theories we come up with are bogus. They are based on the assumption that voters make cold, rational decisions about who to vote for and can tell us why they decided as they did. This is false.
In reality, we voters – all of us – make emotional, intuitive decisions about who we prefer, and then come up with post-hoc rationalizations to explain the choices that were already made beneath conscious awareness.

[... read all of it at the New York Times site ...]

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