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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voters: Where Did You Get Your Information on Candidates and Issues for this Election?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

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While we wait for what could very well be a weird infodump from the Northeast Ohio Media Group after the polls close tonight, a few legitimate questions hang in the air (at least one of which still has to do with gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald's driver's license, though we'll leave that aside for now).

Here's a big one: Where did you get information about the candidates and issues you voted on today?

Newspapers? Blogs? Campaign stops? Cuyahoga County headquarters bathroom graffiti?

Seriously. With the region's biggest news operation taking a sword to its own credibility in political accountability reporting, the one-time clear-cut answer of "the daily paper" is tossed out the window.

Local TV news stations seem like the next tier of obvious answers, but does their coverage go deep enough to inform real opinions? There are some great political blogs in Ohio, but many are beholden to lefty/righty biases (and thus the old "preaching to the choir" problem that befalls most partisan camps). ...Were there any social media outlets that you found helpful? 

Often, public debates are really good for allowing candidates to go long on their platforms, but most high-profile Republican candidates in Ohio rejected that idea and skipped scheduled debates. 

So for these midterm elections, where did you get the information that formed the basis for your vote?

And if you aren't voting (you should vote), did media coverage play into that decision at all?

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Food for thought from David Foster Wallace:

"The idea of being a citizen would be to understand your country's history and the things about it that are good and not so good and how the system works — and taking the trouble to learn about candidates for political office, which means often reading stuff, which isn't fun. Sometimes it's boring. But when people don't do that, here's what happens: The candidates win who have the most money to buy television advertisements, because television advertisements are all most voters know about the candidates. Therefore, we get candidates who are beholden to large donors and become in some ways corrupt, which disgusts the voters and makes the voters even less interested in politics, less willing to do the work — to read and do the work of citizenship."

***

Drop a comment below or tweet me @ericsandy


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