Most 2012 campaign news these days is about the candidates. That's not surprising, because most news around any campaign in any year is about the candidates.
We at the Public Insight Network at American Public Media believe that newsrooms ought to focus on the voters (and the non-voters) -- the American people. Rather than conjecturing that Mitt Romney put down Rick Perry in a VFW speech today, or continuously highlighting Michele Bachmann's off-the-cuff comments, we're trying to cover the campaign through the eyes and stories of everyday Americans.
That's why I’m posting on RedState.
I know that many people distrust the media. The Public Insight Network, where we seek the knowledge and experience of people from all walks of life, is our effort to make journalism better. And we really, really want to hear from more conservatives:
- What issues drive your votes -- or your lack of desire to vote?
- How are current policies on taxes, immigration, employment, health care, education, defense, foreign policy, or social services playing out in your life, workplace or community?
- Who are you supporting for president right now, and why?
Nearly 300 conservative voters have written to us over the past two weeks telling us who they'd vote for if their state's primary or caucus were today – and more importantly, why.
Here are a few examples:
A scientist in Virginia, supporting Bachmann, Palin and Perry, wants D.C. out of his life:
I grew up in a dirty coal-mine town with 30% unemployment in the '80s. In my school district, most of my friends (kids of miners) came to school hungry due to the unions calling for a strike over (e.g.) a hangnail. I saw the suffering first-hand that was caused by the unions. A nationwide ban on unions -- especially in the gov't sector -- would go a long way to fixing our economic woes.
A Marylander believes Herman Cain will cut spending:
I'm an emergency physician who takes care of all people regardless of ability to pay. I don't like being demonized as a "millionaire and billionaire" for giving up a decade of my life and working 60-80hr weeks. I also think Obamacare will destroy the medical profession. We already have federal/state/local rules coming out of our ears and most do nothing but add cost, paperwork and impede care.
In Ohio, a race car parts marketer backs Ron Paul:
I like the path that America is on save for a few things. End the wars, stop the hawkish neo-con foreign policy, and change the tone in Washington. I also don't identify with the religious right or Fox news. Honestly, the problem with our two party system is that there's no fiscally conservative/socially progressive party which is how most Americans identify themselves. While I do have strong feelings about abortion and gun control, I'm not voting based on those issues since the likelihood of anything changing is so remote.
Rick Perry is "the best we have, and he is plenty good," says a former Dept. of Treasury national bank examiner and retired entrepreneur in Dallas, hoping for tax reform:
I actually understand how taxing productivity vs. taxing consumption works. Europe has developed the worst of all possible taxing systems, the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the result is evident to the casual observer. The Democrats will layer a VAT on top of the current Income Tax if they can. Nothing worse could happen.
How about you? What influences your vote?
Share your perspective and your story by filing out our short, online form. You’ll make a difference in how we and our 50 or so partner newsrooms cover the upcoming election, politics, and other topics of interest to you.
We read every response, and a reporter may contact you to learn more. We’ll soon also be blogging from the stories conservative voters send our way. I’ll let you know when that goes live. If you have any questions or concerns, I’d be happy to talk with you.
Many thanks – for your time and insights,
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