Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Straight Ticket Voter May Be The Most Rational Voter Of All

I think the straight ticket voter may be the most reasonable and rational voter of all.

Given the clear differences between the two parties, why would anyone vote for some Democrats and some Republicans on Election Day? 

The straight ticket voter is sending a clear message of party preference.

With a straight ticket ballot, you pull one lever or push one button and by so doing vote for every candidate of the party you have selected.

17 states allow for straight ticket voting. Here is a list of those states. Straight ticket voting is allowed in Texas.

Some disagree with my view on this issue. Here is a link to a letter to the editor of the Providence Journal by a former Green Party candidate for the Rhode Island State Senate named Jeff Toste. Mr. Toste says that in his 2006 campaign he placed first among those who did not vote straight ticket. However, because of straight ticket votes for the Democratic nominee, Mr. Toste lost the race.

I imagine that if I had lived in Mr. Toste’s Senate district in 2006 I might have voted for him. However, Mr. Toste’s letter seems to imply that people who voted straight ticket did not fully realize what they were doing. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted either Democrats or Republicans to win every office on the ballot. That makes perfect sense.

( Mr. Toste does make a good point in his letter in favor of easier ballot access for third parties.) 

I think a feeling is held by some that the straight ticket voter is blindly casting a ballot without much thought. My view is that the voter switching back and forth between the major parties is hopelessly inconsistent. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is so significant on so many issues, that voting for candidates representing both major parties on the same day is the less thoughtful course.

October 9, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , ,


  1. I used to pick and choose between parties but have converted to the straight ticket philosophy. For me it makes for a clearer message to the local folks than diluting it.

    Comment by AmyEmilia | October 9, 2008

  2. AmyEmilia—I agree. Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 9, 2008

  3. I have heard that some Dems plan to vote race by race–and vote for Dems where Dems are running, but vote for Libertarians where the race is Republican vs Libertarian (with no Dem candidate).

    Just to, you know, annoy the Republicans.

    I’m in a mood to annoy the Republicans.

    Comment by Judith | October 13, 2008

  4. Judith–Thanks for the comment. I’m no friend of libertarians but I do understand.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 14, 2008

  5. I will not vote straight ticket. if the candidates are both unworthy they will not get a vote. the philosophy of the lesser of two evils can have limits. in podunk southern ohio in races like city council and judges there are sometimes where you can not in good conscience vote for either. dont vote for a person or idea you do not believe in.

    Comment by bill brady | October 14, 2008

  6. I have been known to leave certain races off my ballot as well if I can’t take the Democrat.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 14, 2008

  7. […] written before, and still assert, that the straight ticket voter is possibly the most rational voter of all. Party identification serves as a kind of shorthand for voters to be able to navigate the […]

    Pingback by I Early Voted In Harris County—Some Good Democrats And Two I Have A More Difficult Time With « Texas Liberal | October 26, 2008

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