WP Editorial: Split Your Ticket

Mark The Droner

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Aug 26, 2015
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How to revitalize political centrism

by Robert J. Samuelson in yesterdays print edition:

There was a time when ticket splitting was common. Voters would support one party’s candidate for president and the other’s for Congress. At its peak in 1972, ticket splitters represented 30 percent of voters, reports political scientist Alan Abramowitz of Emory University. Since then, the practice has gone into eclipse. In 2012, only 11 percent of the electorate were ticket splitters.

And yet . . .

To bring this nasty and bizarre campaign to a meaningful conclusion, what this country needs is an outburst of ticket splitting. Republicans should vote for Hillary Clinton, and Democrats should back Republican House and Senate candidates. This will strike most people as counterintuitive, if not foolish, but there are three good reasons for doing so.

The first is to make a statement about the outcome. Neither party deserves complete victory. Both nominated widely distrusted candidates. In the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll (taken before last week’s final debate), only 40 percent of respondents viewed Clinton positively; a mere 29 percent felt that way about Donald Trump. Parties shouldn’t be rewarded when their popular support is so thin.

The second reason is related: ...

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