Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Brand Loyalty

Tonight, the Cleveland Indians may win the World Series.  I'm not from Cleveland but it is always good to see any Ohio team making it to championship playoffs.  To me, it's a no-brainer to root for the Indians in the Series but to some Reds fans this is anathema since Cleveland is in the American League.  Therefore, goes their logic, we as Reds fans can only root for the National League.

I have never understood fans that are loyal to the "league" or "division".  According to their logic then, should Pittsburgh go to the Super Bowl, we as Cincinnati fans should root for our sworn enemy?  Nope, not gonna happen!

The same mentality though permeates politics and especially the Presidential election.  People are going to the polls next week, holding those nose and voting for the "party" because that's what you fall back on when you won't even look at the either candidate.  A week after the Indians may become the 2016 World Series champions we will have a new President.  The same mentality that causes Reds fans to root against the other Ohio team will be at work next week.

The bias transcends the unwashed masses (you know, those of us that don't work for the media) and I am convinced is influencing pollsters and journalists alike on both sides of the political spectrum.  Amidst all of the calls for not letting the other guy win, I came across a interesting analysis.  In 1980, then President Jimmy Carter was ahead in the polls over the "very dangerous" outlier Ronald Reagan.  The pundits at the time just could not see a way for someone as radical as Reagan ousting a sitting President.  But the polls failed to pick up on the resentment many Americans had for Carter.  Reagan would go on to win by a landslide.

The 1980 Presidential election was the same year I turned 18.  I can't remember one thing from either the Carter or Reagan campaigns but I can tell you why I voted for Reagan; it was in protest against Carter's handling of the Iranian hostage crisis.  Thinking about that some 36 years later, I wonder if we aren't seeing that same thing again especially now that the FBI has re-opened the investigation on Hillary.  Is there a seething resentment for her the the polls aren't showing?

No, I won't be glued to the TV next Tuesday.  More likely I'll be reading a book just to avoid all of the media hype and whining from people when their candidate, whether it be Trump or Hillary, starts losing.  I'm sure people will still text or call (do people still call each other?) to ask my opinion or commiserate about the elections.  I may need to stock up on some good bourbon.

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