Many, perhaps even most, Democrats and Republicans are conflicted as to whom to vote for in the primaries.
Among Democrats, Barack Obama has enormous appeal -- even to most erstwhile Hillary Clinton supporters. He seems to evoke the John F. Kennedy enthusiasm that Democrats have been seeking for over a generation. He is young, vibrant, charismatic and very smart. And he is on the Left, where most Democratic Party activists are; the National Journal rated him the most liberal Democrat in the U.S. Senate. But he wears his leftism lightly, and by basing his campaign on "unity" and "change," he has alienated few Democrats, while apparently appealing to many independents.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has been popular with Democrats for years, and she is especially appealing to a core constituency of the Democratic Party -- women, especially single women.
So, many Democrats are genuinely torn. They admire Hillary Clinton, whom they have long known and supported, but they love Obama, whom they hardly know.
Among Republicans, the internal debate is quite different. Whereas most Democrats admire both their candidates and many love at least one of them, few Republicans love either John McCain or Mitt Romney. It is only a slight exaggeration to state that while Democrats wonder which of the two they love more, Republicans wonder which of the two they dislike, or, if you prefer, distrust, more.
Most Democrats go to the voting booth thrilled with one or both of their candidates; most Republicans are thrilled with neither of their two leading candidates.
In that way, the thinking of most Democrats and most Republicans could not be more different on this Super Tuesday. Ironically, however, many Republicans and Democrats are using the same reasoning in deciding whom to vote for: They are voting for the candidate they think has the best chance of winning in November.
Many Democrats who want Hillary Clinton to be the next president wonder whether she will always be too polarizing to win a national election. And many Democrats who adore Barack Obama wonder whether he can win given his inexperience, his youth, the fact that he is unknown -- and who knows what will yet be revealed about him?
Therefore, many Democrats are choosing whom to vote for not on the basis of who they believe will make the better president so much as who they think has the best chance of being elected president.
On the Republican side, the exact same thing is happening. Given the distrust -- deserved or not -- of both candidates among many Republicans, many are not even asking which candidate would make the better president, but which one has the better chance of winning the presidential election.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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