Saturday, November 06, 2004

What is "moral values' and how did it decide the election?

Slate's Paul Freedman offers a convincing case that Terrorism, not values, drove Bush's re-election.

Similarly, the New York Times notes that the exit poll question causing the "moral values" buzz was confusing: it should have been asked as a "personal characteristic", not as an "issue" like terrorism or Iraq.

Personally, I agree with the Economist :

When asked directly about their attitudes to abortion, the responses this time were no different from 2000: 55% said it should be always or mostly legal. On gay marriage, 26% approved and 35% supported civil unions. So it is possible that “moral values” are not just a matter of social conservatism but also code for trust in the candidate, or respect for a man's willingness to take a stand—where Mr Bush won easily. Mr Kerry never quite managed to persuade voters of his leadership qualities.

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