IssueSalience.gif

Global warming and the environment are dead last among the criteria that voters are using to evaluate the presidential candidates, according to a recent Gallup survey.

When asked in an open-ended question "What would you say are the one or two most important reasons why you would vote for [preferred candidate]" or the candidate the respondent might be leaning towards, thirty-seven percent of Obama's supporters give "change" as the reason for their support. McCain supporters are most likely to explain their vote with references to McCain's experience and qualifications. As I've written before, for the miserly public, it's often heuristics based on personal characteristics and narrative that matter, rather than the issues.