The Smear Campaign and the “Winability” Factor

This campaign has seen a lot of terms being thrown around to damage a candidate’s chances at a win. Often they have focused on a candidate’s character as opposed to their stance on the issues. For Farah Naz, her sister Bushra, and their friend Sahar, these tactics have led them to look carefully not only at candidate’s positions, but also at their own views. They have more closely examined why they voted the way they did.

“The smear campaign in general has made me scrutinize negative campaigns on both side,” says Sahar. “Obama hasn’t had many, and when he has they’re more about policies. The Republicans are still stuck on his name and religion, which has nothing to do with anything.”

“The Republicans have gotten desperate,” says Farah. “They’re doing the same thing the Hilary campaign did, and it didn’t work then.”

“Its also different because I mean I’m, a minority,” says Sahar. ”I’m an American, a woman, and a Muslim. I just wish that more minorities knew what their rights were,” she says, “minorities in all sectors. Even some white middle class women don’t know about gender equality issues. Obama , for example, is for equal pay and McCain isn’t.”

This election has made them really look at the issues as opposed to titles republican and democrat. “I was raised democratic and had the instinct to support democrats,” says Sahar. “But then I talked to conservative democrats and republicans, and got more interested in politics and the issues.”

“I researched the primaries, so I already had the background from the Hilary-Obama race,” says Farah. “They had similar values but worded them differently, and the reason I didn’t vote for Hilary was because I knew she couldn’t win the actual election.”

“I admire her, but I lost respect with the way she was smearing Obama,” adds Bushra.

For them, a potential candidate had to be someone that they felt had a real chance at the presidency. “I notice winability was a bigger factor for me than it had been in the past,” says Farah. “I liked Hilary’s health care plan, I could see her working on it, but I just couldn’t see it passing. That’s why I ended up voting for Obama in the primaries,” she adds. “He’s using gradual steps that are winnable, things that can get done.”

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