Voting advice: Should I vote to win or who I like?

Yes, that was it. He was a not terribly smart rural guy, worked as a security guard to support half a dozen children he and his wife adopted. A nice, friendly guy otherwise.

I will vote for the person I like.

But what if I don’t like any of the candidates? There was a time when I would “vote for the lesser of two evils.” But I don’t do that anymore. If I don’t like any of the candidates, I will write in a candidate’s name, if that option is available. During the last two elections for POTUS, I wrote in “John Galt.”

In 2016 that sort of thing got us 4 years of trump, and attempts to end democracy in America.

I’m actually going back to the OP for this - rather than the thread title. Because it touches on a point made by several posters: is this a primary or general election?

Because given the situation as described in the OP it almost would have to be a primary given the state of US political divides. In the post-Trump world, you are either with them, and agree on every single particular, or you’re a RINO at best and a closet Democrat/Socialist/Illegal Alien at worst (often all 3).

And that also leaves out one irritating factor that we need to address: competency. Yes, the OP mentioned the get the job in order to have the qualifications to do the job dichotomy, but it needs repeating in more detail. Sometimes, that boring, safe, but older white guy, by virtual of being all of the above, has had 20 years of various political/government job experience. The young guy is probably closer to me in attitude and capable of changing the damn institutions, but in many cases, they’re going to fumble for at least a term or two, during which we, the constituents, are going to be paying for that learning experience.

So, to summarize, in a primary or local election (state or closer), I’ll generally try very hard to balance the three factors - qualifications, matching views on the issues, and electability. If I had to do a ranked choice (and dear god, yes I wish we had ranked choice voting) it would be neck and neck on qualifications and issues, with a slight edge for issues, with electability dead last. And for general elections, well, it’s almost always the lesser of evils per my first point.

It’s for Pat Toomey’s seat in PA.

I must agree. A vote for someone who will not be elected is not a vote against the guy you don’t want, it is half a vote against him.

As said above, there’s more than just the US President on the ballot and nearly all positions are for one person who will be one vote among dozens or hundreds, or otherwise be strongly limited in their powers.

If you use the same logic all the way from local leaders to the POTUS, you’re just creating a system that brings in scumbags at the bottom - scumbags who have very little impact in the world and who will be mostly powerless to affect change - and just let’s them keep climbing to the top.

Why create the situation where your are, eventually, in a situation where you have two horrible options for President and it’s no longer safe to vote your conscience?

If a crook, crank, and liar can work up, year by year, through a have dozen rungs on the ladder, all the way to the top, with the same electoral success as the hard working, serious, and honest folks - because everyone’s too afraid to let the dog catcher be the other team’s crazy fraudster - then all the honest folk are going to drop it of the race.

And, I do believe that you will find, it’s not like anyone thinks that we’re lead by upstanding, moral citizens that you could trust with a million dollars intended for charity, so that logic does seem to have some plausibility.

If in the Democratic primary, there is a) zero chance of Fetterman losing to Lamb and b) it’s impossible to know which of them would do better in November.

While I believe moderates tend to win, Fetterman may be hard for the GOP to peg.

In the unlikely event you are a Republican, please give DJT the tiniest bit of humiliation and vote for Barnette. She ‘s extreme, but could be worse (AFAIK she has declined to attack Oz for his religion or dual-citizen nationality.)

P.S. I marked my mail-in ballot for Fetterman, despite my being a moderate, due to Lamb’s cancel-culture-style woke racial attack on his opponent. This fit the common American pattern – not saying it is a good one – of voting against the person I dislike more than for the person I like.

Choosing not to vote doesn’t change any of that, though. Those who don’t vote tend to be ignored even more. If a candidate can win without your vote, that is the easiest option.

Look at groups that tend to have lower turnout. Progressives turn out less, and the result is that fewer progressive issues show up. Younger people vote less, and the result is that politicians don’t try on younger issues.

There are, of course, “get out the vote” efforts. But do they focus on finding issues that people will vote for? No, they just focus on telling people how important their vote is.

Democracy is ultimately based on compromise, finding the person who everyone in a party can accept. So the people you most agree with, who fire you up the most? They’re going to rarely be the ones running. What matters is not the person, but the issue at hand, and which ones will make things better.

Vote for the best candidate in the primary. Then vote defensively in the General. Not voting just makes it easier for the worst person to win.

Voting is about holding the line. To actually accomplish change, you need to use other forms of civic engagement, rather than reducing your political power.

I think you underestimate the ability of people to rationalize pretty near everything as ‘good for the community/state/nation’ and wonder why others don’t see it the same way.

Because voting your conscience is not actually a valuable thing. Democracy is about practicality, not idealism. Any candidate who fulfills all your moral requirements won’t fill all of someone else’s. And ultimately you have to pick the guy that the majority of you would be okay with.

If I went by my conscience, I couldn’t have voted for anyone ever. I have a very low tolerance for greed, and would ideally want a politician who not only has no corporate interests, but is actively hostile to the rich in our country. I want the worst bigotry made into a crime, and hate speech to be an exception in freedom of speech. I want a universal basic income, because I don’t believe people won’t want to work.

If I just wait for the person who fulfills my conscience, I will never have any chance to vote. I have to compromise a bit, picking the person who is moving us more toward what I want.

I hate this idea that not voting is a viable strategy, and frankly blame that for why abortion is now on the chopping block. Because the pro-life side never says they’re not going to vote because someone doesn’t live up to their conscience. And that is why they got themselves in a position to overturn Roe, even though at least 70% oppose this.

I want to give an example- California Governor. I do not like Newsom, he is smarmy, and although he did well with covid, he clearly thought the rules didn’t apply to him.

So this primary I voted for someone else, a virtual unknown. Sounds interesting, anyway.

Then the general will come, and it will be Newsom, vs whatever right wing MAGA loser wins the GOP primary- like in the recall and when Newsom first won. Now if the Republicans nominated someone like Arnie, I could be tempted- but they won’t.

So, I will vote for Newsom, as someone like Cox or Elder is a horrible, terrible choice. It is like the choice between a baloney sandwich… and a shit sandwich.

Same thing with 2016- was Hillary a great choice? Nope. Pure baloney on wheatbread. As opposed to trump, shit sandwich… and no bread even.

If you won’t choose either, you have given the shit sandwich a half vote. Don’t vote for the shit sandwich.

It is. Some morons voted for Green or libertarian or Bernie and we got trump- and Gorsuch, Kavanaugh & Barrett, instead of three pro choice justices. So yeah, by throwing away your voter in 2016- YOU killed Roe vs Wade.

Going back to the OP: there’s a now-classic series of videos using animal analogues to illustrate the problems with the American system of elections, the uncomfortable compromises that are necessary under the system, and alternative mechanisms for casting and tabulating votes

Highly recommended viewing.

Watch at least the first video for a taste of the style.

(Edit to add: the first video is only six minutes, so a low investment of time.)

Vote for your self-interests.
If you have no skin in a particular game, vote for your Community’s interests.

I think the Hillary/Trump presidential election showed that voting for the lesser evil is much better than not voting at all. People who didn’t vote for Clinton because they don’t like her as a person found out in no uncertain terms exactly what the alternative is like.

If you need to be told who to vote for, why even have elections?

Note: only do this if you don’t actually want either candidate to win, you want the opposition regressive fascist to win.

Voting advice: Should I vote to win or who I like?

What’s more important to you? Being able to say that you voted for the winner, or voting with your conscience?