This book addresses the issue of why 51.2% of the population of the USA failed to vote in the November 1996 presidential election. Through polls and studies conducted in the spring and summer of 1996, the contributors set out to answer the following questions: what were the 51.2 percent doing that day? Who are they? Why didn't they vote? The results are summarized into five types of nonvoters: doers, unplugged, irritable, don't knows and alienated.



Nancy Smith used to vote. So did Robert Wolkow and Jason Caldwell. It's possible they will again—for Smith, when her family circumstances become less time-consuming; for Caldwell, when a candidate or issue excites him enough; and for Wolkow, when a candidate so offends him that he has to take action. They believe their votes have value.

They are members of the Doers cluster and are among the eight Doers profiled in this chapter. We chose the number of profiles in this and other chapters to roughly match the percentages each cluster represents of all nonvoters.

It offends Wolkow, a 46-year-old pharmaceutical research physician from New York City, that people blithely vote for the lesser of two evils. When you deal with life-and-death issues, as he has ...

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