In a stunning example of the power of words like “neuroscience” to make us overlook half-baked arguments, today’s NYT contains an article by two neuroscientists suggesting that undecided voters are just more deliberative than the rest of us. They don’t have to make up their minds until Nov. 4, so they don’t.
Two problems. First, no evidence is presented that the people who are undecided are actually more deliberative. Second, it’s difficult to imagine what more information a thinking voter might need in order to make a decision! It’s all out there–whether you’re voting on foreign policy, domestic policy, blatant racism, record, judgment, party ID, whatever. Why is it rational to stay undecided, particularly in the light of the fact that deciding now could both lower the cost of voting (at least in early voting states) and raise the value to the extent that you’re being polled or asked your opinion.
Sheesh. How do these half-baked arguments make their way into the newspaper of record?