Defining the Hard Core

Poll data are endlessly interesting. For one thing, there seems to be no proposition so evidently true but what quite a few people won’t agree with it. Years ago, if memory serves, I saw a poll on whether the Sun rises in the East. For some, that was a controversial proposition. I think that some people give pollsters perverse answers just for fun, or to make a political point.
Which brings us to this Rasmussen survey on John Edwards’ standing with North Carolina voters. The numbers are certainly bad: 11% view Edwards favorably, while 84% have an unfavorable opinion. That is, by any standard, a stunning fall from grace. Just six years ago, Edwards was his party’s Vice Presidential candidate, and a mere two and a half years ago he was a credible candidate for the Presidency. So 84% unfavorability in his home state is appalling, but not surprising, given what we now know about Edwards.
What intrigues me is the 11% who still think highly of him. Whatever possesses them? I suspect that, jokesters aside, they represent the hard core of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in North Carolina–that is, those who would be willing to put aside all else to get some of that cold, hard cash that Edwards’ redistributionist policies promised them. There really are two Americas, and if you’re in the one where politics is a meal ticket, ethics issues are likely to be secondary at best.

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