The Instigator
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
mjg283
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Partisanship defines you!!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 882 times Debate No: 1800
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (7)

 

wingnut2280

Pro

Watching the primaries unfold I submit that:

If you are a legitimate supporter of a candidate of a certain party, it is impossible to move your support to a candidate of a different party barring an intense personal ideological change.

The reason is simply that the parties have become to polarized. If I am a Romney supporter, it goes against everything I stand for to endorse Obama, for instance. The parties and their candidates are so opposite on nearly every issue, switching between candidates of different parties is impossible.
mjg283

Con

This is simply an inaccurate generalization, especially when applied to open primaries where independents are allowed to vote. In 2000, John McCain overwhelmingly won the New Hampshire Primary over George W. Bush because there was a huge turnout of Independents who supported him. When Bush got the nomination, he won New Hampshire very narrowly in the general election (only Nader's voters likely cost Gore the state) because many of the independents who supported McCain ultimately voted for Gore or Nader. This year, Barak Obama won Iowa with a ton of independent support. Hillary Clinton has more support among registered Democrats. Given Hillary's enormously high negative ratings, it is very possible that at least some Obama supporters despise her to the extent that they would support a Republican against her in the general election. In fact, Obama is already receiving at least some support from outright Republicans:

www.republicansforobama.com

There have been plenty of candidates throughout history who have garnered so much support as to entice voters from across the aisle. Look up the term "Reagan Democrats," for example. Because Carter's policies were such a disaster, so many Democrats jumped ship in 1980 and 1984 that Reagan carried almost every state!

If I am a Romney supporter, it may or may not go against everything I stand for to support Obama or Clinton in the general election. It largely depends on WHY I am a Romney supporter. Suppose I support Romney because of his views on the economy and national security, but not so much on social issues. Suppose that Mike Huckabee (for the sake of argument) has social and religious viewpoints that I HEAVILY oppose despite my being an otherwise loyal Republican. If Huckabee wins, I might very well see Obama or Clinton as the more acceptable candidate without any degree of personal ideological change.
Debate Round No. 1
wingnut2280

Pro

First, your argument for independents is true. I am not claiming that there are no such thing as independents. These people have yet to decide who they endorse and, therefore, do not apply to the debate or my claim. I claim that legitimate supporters of candidates could not change their support to a candidate of a different party without a drastic personal shift.

Yes, candidates have drawn support from across the aisle in the past. This is obvious and I don't deny it. My claim applies to the here and now. The parties have become so polarized and so different on every issue of the day that supporting one party, then supporting the other is impossible without a change. The parties have almost no common ground. Even on common issues, like securing the border, the two parties and the candidates in them are very different in the way in which we go about it. On amnesty, the war, the economy, education, the bush tax cuts, each and every issue is met by sharply contrasting views. To leave a republican and support a democrat would require a MAJOR shift in personal views on these topics.

The only argument you seem to make that would really apply to my claim is that some issues are more important to people and that would make them endorse the other party. This is impossible. Any reason that you would support Romney, for example, would be totally abandoned in your support for Clinton. Your conflict with Huckabee would not be as severe as your conflict with Obama because the differences between Huckabee and Romney are slight, while the differences between Romeny and Obama are drastic, to say the least.
mjg283

Con

>>First, your argument for independents is true. I am not claiming that there are no such thing as independents. These people have yet to decide who they endorse and, therefore, do not apply to the debate or my claim.<<

You're confusing independents with undecided voters. They are not the same thing by any means. An independent is simply somebody who is not a registered member of a political party. Somebody can absolutely be an independent and strongly favor a particular candidate (and are no less "legitimate" supporters of that candidate than are people who happen to be registered Democrats or Republicans). Therefore, they are absolutely applicable to this debate. And so far in this election season, independents have appeared to most strongly support McCain and Obama. If either of those two doesn't win the nomination, it is very possible that many of their supporters will seek a candidate across party lines. In addition, the fact that these candidates attract so much independent support might indicate that even registered Democrats or Republicans who support them could be susceptible to supporting somebody from the other party. As I indicated, we've already seen at least some Republicans proclaim their support for Obama.

>>Yes, candidates have drawn support from across the aisle in the past. This is obvious and I don't deny it. My claim applies to the here and now.<<

Of course it does. And predicting what will happen in the here and now often involves studying what occurred in the past.

>>The parties have become so polarized and so different on every issue of the day that supporting one party, then supporting the other is impossible without a change. The parties have almost no common ground.<<

That's not entirely true. One of the biggest running jokes of the Bush/Gore campaign in 2000 was how much they agreed with each other during the debates. And even below, you admit that there IS common ground on certain issues, but just different ideas of how to go about implementing policy.

>>Even on common issues, like securing the border, the two parties and the candidates in them are very different in the way in which we go about it. On amnesty, the war, the economy, education, the bush tax cuts, each and every issue is met by sharply contrasting views. To leave a republican and support a democrat would require a MAJOR shift in personal views on these topics.

The only argument you seem to make that would really apply to my claim is that some issues are more important to people and that would make them endorse the other party. This is impossible. Any reason that you would support Romney, for example, would be totally abandoned in your support for Clinton. Your conflict with Huckabee would not be as severe as your conflict with Obama because the differences between Huckabee and Romney are slight, while the differences between Romeny and Obama are drastic, to say the least.<<

And some people might believe that even drastic differences are worth dealing with rather than a candidate they find abhorrent. You say "[y]our conflict with Huckabee would not be as severe as your conflict with Obama." Says who?? Every individual in America ranks issues differently in terms of importance.

Clearly at least some registered Republicans disagree with you because they've voiced their support for Obama: www.republicansforobama.com

It's not unreasonable for an economically conservative, but socially liberal registered Republican to be so turned off by Governor Huckabee's social positions and his beliefs concerning religion and public life that they would find Clinton or Obama more acceptable, even if they disagreed on virtually everything. Now, I agree that there are SOME voters out there (myself probably included) who would not switch party lines unless something truly drastic happened, but this is just not a sweeping generalization one can make about all or even most supporters of a given candidate.
Debate Round No. 2
wingnut2280

Pro

1) Independents

Independents are undecided voters. Its simply common sense that people who haven't declared a party are either not supporting a particular candidate (undecided), or are supporting a candidate but don't label themselves as one or the other. The latter is the only thing we disagree on. If they truly support a candidate of a particular party, they fit into my claim that they are not able to switch. Otherwise, they are independent because they are undecided, and I don't claim to cover them.

2) History

Studying history allows us insight, but not when the circumstances are different. The parties are more polarized now then they have been in decades. Election results from two decades ago can not be postured into today's electoral circumstances. What held true then doesn't hold true now. Party politics is drastically different.

3) Party Polarization

The parties are almost entirely polarized. Yes, there are things that they agree on, but they aren't electoral issues. Things like a stronger economy, more secure borders and creating jobs are all things we can universally agree on. What I'm talking about and the issues in the election are how to get those things accomplished. The goals are the same, but the means are opposite. Its not as if one party wants a weak America while the other doesn't. The ways about which we better America is where they disagree and where the support lies. These opinions on means differ so greatly that it makes it impossible to switch candidates in different parties.

4) Possibility/Applicability

There is no issue that Huckabee and Romney or Clinton and Obama differ on enough to cause this. That is my very argument. Huckabee and Romney's social views are too similar to cause conflict that would somehow override the drastic differences on every other issue between Huckabee and Obama. Each parties candidates are too similar to warrant this. I urge you to point to a specific issue that would cause this. My argument is that this issue does not exist and therefore, no viable supporter could switch from a candidate in one party to a candidate from another.

The similarities between the candidates in their respective parties is so apparent, that their would not be enough of a difference to warrant a switch to a candidate of another party, now that the differences between the parties are so sharp.
mjg283

Con

1. Independents

Independents are NOT by definition undecided voters by any stretch (and this is certainly not "common sense"). The fact that somebody has not declared an allegiance to a party does not mean they don't have a strong desire to see a particular candidate elected. When you talk about independents and undecided voters, you are talking about two different (though perhaps overlapping to a degree) sets of people. In the New Hampshire Primary, independents overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama. Voters who were undecided until the eve of the primary ended up splitting right down the middle between Obama and Hillary.

2. History/Polarization

People always say we are somehow more "polarized" than in the past, but I haven't really seen that much hard evidence of it. There was plenty of disagreement and mudslinging going on two decades ago, believe me. If anything, the parties were farther apart back then since it was before the Democrats "triangulated" on issues like welfare reform. There are plenty of issues where there's been agreement: NAFTA (for the most part, both parties favor it), the death penalty (neither party will run a Presidential candidate opposing it), to name a couple.

Don't forget that No Child Left Behind, the Bush Tax Cuts, and McCain/Feingold were all the result of bipartisan support (at least to some extent). The notorious "Gang of 14" giving Bush headaches on his judicial nominees included Republicans, notably Senator McCain.

Besides, even if the parties are different, why is that such a bad thing? It's good to have real choices, rather than two parties that only have minor disagreements.

3. Applicability

"Huckabee and Romney's social views are too similar to cause conflict that would somehow override the drastic differences on every other issue between Huckabee and Obama."

First, there are differences between Romney and Huckabee -- most notably that Romney does not favor a constitutional amendment banning abortion, which is a very big deal to lots of people. And many people think all of Romney's social views are phony anyway. Besides, it's not just Romney and Huckabee. What about Romney and McCain? Surely there's plenty of difference THERE.
Debate Round No. 3
wingnut2280

Pro

1) Independents

I am simply stating that we can group people into two categories. Those who support a cadidate (who I claim) and those who are undecided (which I don't claim). Independents are either of these. Simply that there are independents does not prove your case. Someone can support a candidate without being a member of the party and they can also be undecided. These supporters are what I claim in my opening. Therefore, the existence of independents is not problematic.

2) History/Polarization

History does not gauruntee any situation. That said, polarization is definately more present now. True, there are issues that the parties agree on. But, the key issues of the day like the economy and Iraq, stand in sharp contrast. Issues like capital punishment don't matter as much to voters by any means, polls indicate this. On the issues that due matter, the parties are totally opposite. Whether its health care, social issues, the economy or the war, the differences between any of the republicans versus a democrat are far less. In the past the parties have not been this open with their partisan bickering. Every message from every candidate preaches that partisanship has gotten worse and worse. This whole 'run against washington' strategy is certainly not a new one, I agree, but it is most severe now. Party loyalty in the senate is more rigid now than it has ever been. There will always be bipartisan bills and such, but simply that they exist, or that Sen. McCain has reached across the aisle, does not mean it is common practice.

I'm not saying its entirely bad, I'm merely pointing out that its there.

Also, past examples do not automatically apply to current events. Simply because something has happened before doesn't mean it is able to happen again, especially when the circumstances are different.

3) Applicability

Let's take the example that you have given me. Even in the event that something like the abortion ammendment mattered infintely to that particular voter, to switch from Huckabee to Clinton versus a switch to Romney, would not only give up that value (Clinton doesn't support the ammendment either), but simulataneously forfeit any other republican value the voter holds. Therefore, it would be more advantageous (though not ideal) to support Romney versus Clinton. It would not be the perfect choice, but a much more sufficient one.

The only feasible way this Huckabee-Clinton switch would occur is if the Huckabee supporter held more Democratic ideals, and only supported Huckabee for his position on the ammendment. In this circumstance, the supporter in question would certainly not be the viable one that I make my claim about, because they only agree with the candidate on the leading issue.

My claim is a simple one. There are so many differences in the parties that switching avid support from the candidate of one to another would be virtually inconceivable. History does not prove this inaccurate. We can not extrapolate results to different circumstances, especially when we don't know the cause of the results (why independents and democrats voted Reagan). Bipartisanship will always be present, no matter how divided the parties are (look at Britain). As the parties stand now, a legitimate and avid switch is impossible due to the dramatic differences on policy.
mjg283

Con

The problem is your argument seems to be narrowing with each round. First, no Independents. Now, people who have some Liberal beliefs but would side with Governor Huckabee on social issues "would certainly not be the viable one that I make my claim about." What you seem to be contending is that those people who are so ideological that they support their party on, well, everything (very few people probably fit THAT description) wouldn't switch to the other party under any circumstances. That's not really even an argument -- it's more of a tautology.

With respect to history, I never said it guarantees anything -- just that it's often instructive when evaluating what's going on now or making predictions about the future. In any event, you keep harping on the fact that the parties are more "polarized" now than in the past, but you've presented absolutely no evidence of any kind to support this.

I listed a plethora of issues on which there is bipartisan agreement, and you simply shrugged them off as not being "key" or "electoral" issues.

"Issues like capital punishment don't matter as much to voters by any means, polls indicate this."

Tell that to Michael Dukakis. He was the last presidential candidate to oppose the death penalty, and it contributed mightily to his defeat. Even assuming that polls actually do indicate that capital punishment doesn't matter to voters, a key reason for that might be that THE PARTIES PRETTY MUCH AGREE ON IT. Since neither the Republicans nor the Democrats actually oppose the death penalty, of course the death penalty is not going to be a "voting issue" for most Americans, regardless of how important the issue is them. Of course is

Even on the economy, which you list as a "key" issue, there is agreement, at least to an extent. Neither Republicans nor Democrats seriously oppose free trade agreements, for example. In addition, as I said, at least some moderate Democrats crossed the aisle and supported the Bush tax cuts.

Good debate.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
Two words that disprove Pros stance:

Ronald Reagan.

The party's were even more polarized when he ran for office in 1980, coming off a decade Nixon, Ford, and Carter the ideological differences between the parties was much more pronounced than it is now where folks from both sides fall all over themselves to move as close to the middle as possible. Reagan won two elections in landslide fashion because of his ability to attract a huge block of democrats who disagreed with him on virtually every issue.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
pro should have defined a "legitimate supporter". the way he uses it, it seems that he means a party member who supports all or most of a candidate's platform. if so, then the statements he made would probably be true.
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Vote Placed by DMillz 8 years ago
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