Emotion Trumps Reason in Super Tuesday Voting

Hopefuls are triggering anxiety, hope to gain voters
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 4:25 PM CST

(Newser) – Voters go with their gut in the ballot booth—this researchers know—but Super Tuesday is an acute study in heart over mind, Newsweek reports. With no party loyalty at stake and the Democrats' policies so alike, emotion rules: Barack Obama is trying to rouse voters with hope, while Hillary Clinton’s anxious ads urge people to stick with a safe candidate.

Meanwhile, GOP voters are seeking a candidate to calm their national security fears. More Republicans want to feel inspired after the Bush years, but worry led them to analyze Rudy Giuliani out of the race and give John McCain a second look. It's an emotional muddle, withotu clear motives. "People default to things like 'He shares my values,'" one expert said. But the real reasons, "the emotional ones, are harder to articulate."