What is it with single issue voters?

What is it with single issue voters?

"Single issue voters have a distorted impression of political reality."

I have a family member who voted for President Obama in the last general election.  She is a moderate who generally voted Republican in the past.  However, in the last election she was concerned that the country would continue going down the same path with McCain as with Bush.  So, she voted for Obama.  Now, after the State of the Union (2012) speech, she has decided that she will most likely vote for  Republican in the presidential election, no matter who that is.

Why this change?  President Obama didn’t say anything new or create a real game changer at the State of the Union.  In fact, most of what he said were items reiterated from previous speeches.  While he expressed displeasure with our current do-nothing congress, Obama sees the economy moving in the right direction and wants to continue that forward progress, even if it is a little slow.  So, no radical changes.  Despite that, there is really nothing to point to as to why a previous Obama supporter would jump ship – he passed (a watered down version of) universal health care, ended don’t-ask-don’t-tell, is bringing troops home, defeated bin Laden, and more.

Well, the reason that she wants to move back to the Republicans is because President Obama made reference to beefing up the higher education system.  And…according to her “doesn’t he know that states support higher education, not the feds?” She works in higher education. So, because she sees this as a mis-speak by the President and also may have concerns that Obama is trying to nationalize higher education, she is now willing to change her vote.

Single issue voters have a distorted impression of political reality.  By putting all their eggs in one basket, they ignore the candidate's other views, which may or may not correspond with the voter’s. In a way, a single issue voter is like a lobbyist focusing only on the one issue they want to see take center stage.  Unfortunately, all this does is creates more room for disappointment.  I believe that we should look at the candidates for the whole of what they bring to the table.  Just like our system of government – majority wins.  The candidate whose views as a whole represent mine, gets my vote.