Today’s ballot is the most succinct example I’ve ever seen of why incumbents win elections. Here’s how much I knew about the issues at play in the 1992 election:
The only reason I wanted Bush to be president was because he was already president. And let’s face it, the average voter doesn’t really know more about the issues than a six-year-old. Once you give a guy a job, he’s gotta show you why he doesn’t deserve it anymore! I never consciously experienced a time when George H. W. Bush wasn’t in office, so not only was he the president, for all intents and purposes, he was THE president. This joker with the big ears and the Elvis-guy were just trying to take his job away!
Anyone with a keen eye for reading polls (or a basic knowledge of mathematics) can see just how much I wanted Bush to win, forecasting that he would capturing a staggering 100% of the vote, a result that would certainly be anomalous enough on its own, but its anomalousness is increased by the fact that the candidates received a total of not one, but TWO hundred per cent.
It seems strange, until you consider the alternate ballot from this particular mock election. In my YMNSF voting system (Yes-Maybe-No-Smiley-Face) voting system, “maybe” votes count for a third of a vote, and smiley faces are scored via a subjective assessment of enthusiasm. This is roughly the same way that it works in Single Transferable Vote countries like Ireland and Australia.