Jim Arkfeld: Single-issue voters

September 20, 2012 

The first column in this non-partisan "Election 2012" series addressed conservative vs. liberal basics and the second looked at differences between Democrats and Republicans. Now we will focus on single-issue voters.

Many of us have very strong opinions and emotions about a particular issue facing our country. We might focus our attention on that one issue which means so much to us. That single issue becomes the overriding reason to vote for a particular candidate or political party. We call this person a "single-issue voter".

One of the most emotional issues facing us is abortion. Due to deeply held moral or religious beliefs, many of us feel very strongly about this issue. For some there is no room for discussion regarding abortion. To attempt to ease some of the emotionalism, both sides of the issue use the less volatile terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice".

Another controversial issue is gun control. This second amendment right seems to keep us deeply divided over whether we should have more or less gun control.

Another emotional issue has been the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Some of us have supported the war effort but others feel that that we shouldn't have fought these wars and that we have paid too much in terms of resources and human life.

Here in California, a particularly emotional issue is immigration. While many want to tighten the borders, others benefit from a freer flow of labor and goods.

Another single-issue concern is business. Some voters focus all their concern on candidates and political parties which are very pro-business while others support pro-worker candidates.

Some voters feel strongly about more than one of these issues. However the single-issue voter will enter the voting booth and cast a vote for the candidate who supports his single, firmly-held view.

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