“In his 1991 book The Reasoning Voter, political scientist Samuel Popkin argued that most people make their choice on the basis of ‘low-information signaling’ — that is, stupid things like whether you know how to roll a bowling ball or wear an American-flag pin.” Or whether or not a political candidate seems like the kind of guy you can relax and have a beer with. I’ve read that Josef Stalin had a common-man touch. He could relate to Ukranian wheat-growers and their concerns. Not that this mattered in the Russia of the 1930s, ’40s and early ’50s.
“In the era of Republican dominance, the low-information signals were really low — how Michael Dukakis looked in a tanker’s helmet, whether John Kerry‘s favorite sports were too precious (like wind-surfing), whether Al Gore‘s debate sighs over his opponent’s simple obfuscations were patronizing. Bill Clinton was the lone Democratic master of low-information signaling — a love of McDonald’s and other assorted big-gulp appetites gave him credibility that even trumped his evasion of military service.” – from a depressing Joe Klein Time piece, dated 4.24, called “The Incredible Shrinking Democrats.”