Presidential Talk: Does it Really Matter?

Presidental Debate

All the time spent watching news regarding the presidential candidates is a waste.  The pre-primary debates and talk may influence your vote in the primary, but probably not on election day as you will likely vote for whoever represents your party.  I compare the time leading up to the primaries to watching a long horse race and you don’t have money bet on any of the horses.  You may care who wins the race, but no matter who wins, you will be placing your bet/vote on that winner come election day.

I’ve been sucked into following the meaningless horse races by listening to talking heads go on and on about polls, debates, comments made by politicians and predictions from people on TV, neighbors, even guys in the health club locker room.  While the races may have some entertainment value, it means nothing in the big picture to most people, especially in a (non-swing state) state like Illinois. horse raceIf you are liberal, you will vote for whichever candidate is on the democratic ticket (wins the primary race between Clinton and Sanders).  Republicans have many more people (larger horse race) vying for the nomination, but most conservatives will vote for the republican that wins the nomination, even if their favorite candidate in the primary loses.  Therefore, it doesn’t matter who wins the primary, most people know which party ticket they will be voting for in November.


What makes this more pointless is that in Illinois, one of the bluest states in the country, our state’s presidential vote has been a foregone conclusion since 1988, which was the last time a republican won the Illinois’ Electorial College votes and in the past 5 elections the republican presidential candidate has not received more than 44.5% of the vote.

Unless things change significantly, the winner of the “swing states” will be the president.  Swing states include Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado.  Most states have voted the same way (Illinois) for President for multiple elections in a row.  Both parties try desperately to win these states and put other states “in play” as possible states where they could end the string of losing those electoral college votes.

I admit, I have caught myself watching the horse races more than I should be, especially because the primaries haven’t even begun.  It’s almost as though I was watching the horses running around the track getting timed in practice heats (polls) and then putting odds on how they might fare.

At least the race/primaries are finally about to begin so I won’t feel quite so silly if I tune in.

Have you gotten caught up in these horse races or are you not paying attention?

Other articles you may like:

Is Ignorance Bliss?

When Will the Market Plummet?

Trade Expectations for Acceptance






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  1. If you don’t pay attention to the candidates before the primaries, how can you vote knowledgeably in the primaries?

    • Hi Dave,
      One of my points was regarding that in IL the democratic primary winner has won the past 5 presidential elections by a large margin, so republicans vote means a lot less if their primary winner is going to lose to any democrat in November. So I guess the democratic primary if the one to watch in IL.

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