Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Asymmetric intensity.

My new favorite phrase, from Ezra Klein:

In recent elections, Democrats have tended to emphasize the issues with the broadest constituencies, not the most intense ones. So they've ended up touting policies the electorate agrees with but does not vote on -- after all, if the electorate agreed and did vote on that issue, the GOP would quickly notice its wisdom and make it a central policy plank. So while this strategy garnered very high numbers of Americans telling pollsters they agreed with the Democratic position, it didn't lead to all that many voting for the Democrats.

Strategies built on smaller, more intensely supported policies have been more successful, at least to judge from the Republican Party's recent history. And many of these issue are asymmetrically intense -- someone in agreement will vote for you because of your support, but someone in disagreement will not vote against you because of that issue.

I wonder how - or if - this applies to Taylor's campaign on crime.